Janice Okoh's Three Birds is a darkly comic drama about childhood, family and fantasy. It was the winner of the 2011 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and was first performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on 27 February 2013 before transferring to the Bush Theatre in March.
The play is set in a council flat in Lewisham, South East London. In the absence of either parent,16-year-old Tiana is trying to look after her 13-year-old brother Tionne and her little sister Tanika. But with the bathroom out of action, and Dr Feelgood hammering on the door to get the drug money he's owed, Tiana is finding it increasingly difficult. She and Tanika retreat into a fantasy world of houses with swimming pools and fridges that sing pop songs. Meanwhile, the withdrawn Tionne busies himself with performing strange experiments on chickens. The children's fragile existence comes under increasing threat from the adult world, not least in the form of Tanika's do-gooding teacher Miss Jenkins.
The Royal Exchange premiere was directed by Sarah Frankcom and designed by Louie Whitemore. It was performed by Michaela Coel, Jahvel Hall, SusanWokoma, Lee Oakes and Claire Brown.