Get Folk-Horror 'Birdwatching' to Fringe!

by Black Bright Theatre Company in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,860

raised so far



Help our independent female-led team bring an original, in-the-round, folk horror production to the Edinburgh Fringe!

by Black Bright Theatre Company in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Our Show

Birdwatching - Written by Madeleine Farnhill

School friends Amelia, Poppy and Lauren are wild camping in the Northumberland forest. As the woods darken around them and tensions flare, a watchful presence takes hold over the camp. Thus ensues a perfect boiling pot of paranoia, superstition and adolescent insecurity that hangs on a chilling question: who is watching who?

A dark, punchy hour of drama that probes the cultural voyeurism of young women, and injects the horror genre with queer and neurodivergent perspectives. From the writer of the five-star, award nominated The Hunger - Birdwatching is a new folk-horror about the female experience that doesn’t look away.

Our Story

Now, I know what you’re thinking…

“Hang on, I recognise these two women. I could swear they did a FringeMakers Crowdfunder LAST year for an entirely different show.” 

And you’d be slap-me-across-the-face correct! We are the same women. We are also the same theatre company! But this time with a different, brand new play.


Black Bright Theatre Company was founded in August 2021. After our first collaboration as Writer, Producer and Co-Directors on Maddie’s first play - a mother/daughter duologue set in post-apocalyptic Yorkshire - Black Bright Theatre Company was formed. The Hunger debuted in Sheffield, toured the North, and made its Edinburgh Fringe debut last year for a critically-acclaimed month-long run at Assembly Venues, directed by the extraordinary Natalie Simone. Off the back of some shiny five-star reviews and an OffFest nomination, The Hunger transferred to Greenwich Theatre’s ‘Pick of the Fringe’ season.


“Aha!” I hear you grin and nod to yourself. “The Hunger, yes. That looked a bit intense - but also, that is the production you were raising money for last time around.”

You’re right! 

We are extremely pleased to say that all of the hard work, in-kind provisions, and generous donations paid off. From a basement venue in Sheffield to one of The Big Four venues at the world’s largest arts festival, this tiny Yorkshire team couldn’t believe how far we’d come in such a short amount of time.

But let’s not beat around the bush - none of this would have been possible without the incredible support we have received from every ticket holder, venue programmer, and donors kind enough to take a punt on an independent theatre company with serious ambitions. 

This time we’re bigger, better, and need your support now more than ever.

With the invaluable help of our supporters, we were able to make a ruckus in 2023 with our fierce Fringe debut, and prove that Northern theatre has a hell of a lot to give. Help us continue to shake up the Fringe scene (and our audiences) by donating to our crowdfunder, and you’ll be supporting some early-career female artists while you’re at it!

Stay spooky,

Black Bright x


Our Team

The core creative team are all members of the artist development scheme The Bank Cohort at Sheffield Theatres! But what do they do, and what are they called?

Show Director - Chantell Walker

1709503430_img_8861_(1).jpgChantelle is a theatre director from Sheffield. She trained as a director at the Everyman & Playhouse theatres, after studying drama in Liverpool. Chantell has a passion for new writing and female focused stories. She is delighted to be directing Birdwatching and making her Edinburgh debut. Some of her credits include, JANE HAIR- The Brontes Restyled, Hull Truck & UK Tour, Bottleneck, Liverpool Royal Court, Sophie, The Dukes, Thorn, Oldham Coliseum, Eggs, Tristan Bates.

Artistic Director and Writer - Madeleine Farnhill

1709503631_346144000_163803419989051_5880017385930270855_n.jpgMadeleine is a playwright and actor from Yorkshire. She is the Artistic Director and Writer for Sheffield-based theatre company Black Bright Theatre, and is an MA Drama Writing graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. She primarily writes regional, female-led theatre with folk horror influences. She seeks to bring a darker, weirder experience to the stage charged with gender and environmentalist politics. Her love for the weird often culminates in speculative worlds that hover above the ordinary, and she is heavily influenced by mythology.

Producer and Company Manager - Helen Denning

1709503783_helen_denning.jpgOriginally from Birmingham, Helen is a Sheffield-based producer passionate about creating female-led theatre. She is the Co-Founder, Producer, and Company Manager of Black Bright Theatre Company. The female-led, independent company emerged from a shared vision of creating narrative-driven theatre with complex female characters at its core, specialising in regional horror theatre. She has experience in almost every aspect of theatre-making, including acting and co-directing. Helen is particularly drawn to stories with strong world-building, morally ambiguous characters, and socio-political themes.

Praise for The Hunger


“Dark and very topical, a strange and extraordinary production.” - Starburst Magazine

“Like being plunged into a horror movie.” - Broadway World

“A triumph of female rage.” - Sheffield Magazine


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