Belongings pile up as ageing mother Helene, her high achieving daughter Katherine (who also becomes her pet cockatiel) and case manager negotiate their way to an important inspection.

Set to a rhythm of telephone calls, bird calls, lawn bowls and dance moves, it is a physical work as much as a narrative about the underlying trauma experienced by a woman who has accumulated too many things, placing her family in crisis.

Through a series of clashes, a steady stream of negotiation which sometimes calls to question the notion of consent, Katherine strives to get her reluctant mother across the line, to avoid potential homelessness.

‘Her script is wonderful, a well-paced and managed story as familiar as it felt original. This was not a play about hoarding, but a play about the characters, and we cared.’ Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Planet Arts

"Sandra Fiona Long tells an authentic story of overconsumption as a substitute for loneliness." Theatre People

"It's an empathic engagement with the lived reality of, and complex psychological dynamics behind, hoarding behaviour – one that offers a compassionate, deeply imagined view of a difficult human situation." Cameron Woodhead, The Age

'This is a really contained, beautiful, neat piece of writing' Across the Aisle

'Birdcage Thursdays is a work of now, not of yesterday" Samsara Dunston, What did she think?

  • moves between social drama and a surreal world encompassing sound and movement, bird character
  • 50
  • 3 total
  • 3 female identifying
  • 18+
  • adult
  • Australian Script Centre


BIRDCAGE THURSDAYS Birdcage Thursdays filmed at fortyfivedownstairs in November 2017. Created with support from Creative Victoria, Helen McPherson Smith Trust, City of Ballarat, Violet Town Community house, For the Crowded House, CAFS Ballarat, The potato shed, RRRTAG, Stratford Courthouse Theatre, fortyfivedownstairs and La Mama Mobile. Originally created for the Big West Festival 2015 NEWEST program.

PLEASE NOTE: This page contains links to files that have been sourced, and websites that are maintained by other businesses and organisations. Please refer to our terms of use.

Search for details of past productions at

AusStage provides an accessible research facility for investigating live performance in Australia.

Search by play title and/or playwright name
Results will open in a new window

PLEASE NOTE: You will be directed to for search results; Australian Plays Transform is not responsible for their completeness. Refer to our terms of use.

SKU: ASC-1922 Category:

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024