The Canary and the Crow

Theatre (new writing, hip hop/breakin')

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  • ROUNDABOUT @ Summerhall - Roundabout
  • 19:50
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Middle Child
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains Distressing Themes, Strong Language/Swearing. No latecomers.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 1 year


The award-winning Middle Child present The Canary and the Crow – brand new gig theatre about the journey of a working-class black kid who is accepted to a prestigious grammar school. This lyrical, semi-autobiographical piece from writer and performer Daniel Ward uses grime, hip hop and theatre to tell the story of the struggle between a new environment that doesn't accept you and an old one that has no opportunity. 'A superb piece of gig theatre' (Lyn Gardner on Middle Child’s sell-out hit, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything).

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

Captioned performances

  • Dates: 7 August, 14 August, 21 August
  • Type: Closed (Tablet)
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating locations or if booking a unit is required.

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Nick Hunn 123 days ago

It’s not a new story, but I’ve never seen it told so well before. Middle Child have an unerring ability to turn difficult subjects into entertaining shows, whilst distilling and conveying their key message. This is fun, beautifully performed, nuanced and moving. With a backdrop of an almost exclusively white audience, the opening statements become even more telling. You wonder how many of the audience might also have objected? We need work like this to make the point that ambition and opportunity are not the same thing. Absolutely stunning and deserves a Fringe First.

Dominic Geraghty 124 days ago

Unbelievably good, high energy show delivered by a really impressive performer and small supporting cast. Lots of laughs and really important message. Would love a studio album!

Prof Teak 125 days ago

Energized performance created by Daniel Ward, who must really have a charmed life, besides the story he tells;
he has gathered a supporting cast to die for. They breathe the story to life, and deliver non-stop.
The canary/crow metaphor gets a little bit muddled in the story-telling, but the overarching message is one of compassion and acceptance and art.

Sophie Escobar 131 days ago

I peaked too soon. The best show I'll see at the festival this year. Amazing music, heartfelt story, hilarious characters, unbeatable energy. I've recommended to everyone I know. You deserve the audience you had on the 4th every night. E-N-E-R-G-Y!

Liz 131 days ago

This is brilliant don't miss it. This is a fantastic autobiographical piece by Daniel Ward. Loved every minute of it.

Liz Lewis 132 days ago

AMAZING! Fast paced, immersive, incredibly creative. My family and I absolutely loved this show. This is a must see, an absolute gem!

Beverly Sproats 133 days ago

Fantastic gig theatre/spoken word that stays with you long after it finishes. Poignant and affecting story, brilliantly told by the lead actor with amazing comic and musical support.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

The Play's the Thing UK 108 days ago

Ward’s performance, showing Bird’s transition from an enthusiastic, naïve 10-year-old to an angry, jaded teen is superb. He is ably supported by the rest of the cast, who through beautifully timed verbal, musical and physical interjections help him capture both the hilarity and difficulty of being one of just two black children in an entire year group.

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The Scotsman (4/5 stars) 112 days ago

Being a working-class kid in East London has never been the easiest of lives....

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ThreeWeeks (5/5 stars) 116 days ago

This autobiographical piece by writer and performer Daniel Ward is a vibrant explosion of gig theatre, filled with lyrical musings on the nature of growing up black in white dominated environments, as he recounts his experience of being awarded a scholarship to an Etonian-style grammar school as one of the...

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Whats On Stage (4/5 stars) 116 days ago

Will there ever be a better match of company and venue than gig theatre impresarios Middle Child with Paines Plough's Roundabout? The Hull-based company, returning for another show in the circular Summerhall space, certainly knows how to cook up a storm: from the moment the audience walks in the cast...

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Exeunt 116 days ago

Daniel Ward’s play with music, The Canary and the Crow, gives a semi-autobiographical window into the experiences of a young black boy at a mostly white private school. His story reflects the code switching he’s forced to do to exist between black and white spaces, and the extra pressure on...

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The Student Newspaper 117 days ago

The mixed composition works incredibly well within the show, maintaining the lively and infectious energy which Ward exudes. Despite the difficult and personal subject matter, Ward carries a youthful and joyous energy, easily drawing the crowd in with both heart and humour.

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Edinburgh Guide (4/5 stars) 118 days ago

Mixing together hip-hop, grime, and writing that lyrically flows, this show is a great example of gig theatre, with its blend of storytelling, performance and live music. Set in the round, this piece works really well in drawing the audience into the semi-autobiographical story that Daniel Ward nurtures to life....

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Everything Theatre (4/5 stars) 119 days ago

An open-hearted coming of age that smashes the boundaries between performing arts to regale the audience with an unprecedented experience. All under the beautifully lit, magically atmospheric, roof of the Roundabout.

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The Wee Review (5/5 stars) 121 days ago

‘Gig Theatre’ seems to have exploded onto the scene this year and is providing audiences with new and unique ways to experience stories. Rather than the very traditional and at times staid forms of theatre, Gig Theatre grabs the audience’s attention as soon as they arrive and plays out with...

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The Guardian (3/5 stars) 121 days ago

Daniel Ward’s bold debut is about a collision of worlds. A warm, funny host to his own story, he recreates his years as a working-class black kid at a posh white grammar school. The show comes from Middle Child Theatre, a Hull-based company making a name for themselves with their...

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Broadway World (4/5 stars) 123 days ago

The Canary And The Crow, Daniel Ward effortlessly puts into spoken word the core differences, issues and divides he felt as a black man going to a predominantly white, private, all-boys school. But it goes way past high school, past teenage prejudices and into cultural appropriation. Ward fires potency and...

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A Younger Theatre (5/5 stars) 123 days ago

From Middle Child’s work over the past year we can expect their offering at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, The Canary and the Crow, to be a searing play. Middle Child never shy away from the difficult topics and this indictment and exploration of the othering of people of colour in...

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The List (5/5 stars) 125 days ago

Brand new gig theatre piece about a black child's experience at a prestigious school...

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Miro Magazine (5/5 stars) 126 days ago

There is a blast of generosity and authenticity around The Canary And The Crow. It gently encourages its audience to listen, empathize, laugh, cry and leave with a heart more open, more accepting than before.

Read the full review (4/5 stars) 128 days ago

Daniel Ward drew on his own childhood experiences to create Middle Child’s exciting new piece of gig theatre, The Canary and the Crow. With charm and passion, he tells his semi-autobiographical story of a black working-class boy who wins a scholarship that propels him into a posh private school where nearly all the pupils are white. With the recurring fable-like motif of the sweet-singing canary and the screeching crow, he reveals what it is like to be caught between two opposing worlds and not knowing where you belong.

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Broadway Baby (5/5 stars) 130 days ago

I’m not gonna pretend like I know a lot about the UK's schooling system, because I don’t. The UK’s relationship with class is already odd to me, and the way we weave it into education from such an early age is surprising enough in and of itself. But its relationship...

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The Stage [paywall] (3/5 stars) 131 days ago

Hull-based Middle Child Theatre is one of Edinburgh Fringe’s recent big success stories. The company returns to the Paines Plough Roundabout this year with The Canary and the Crow, a semi-autobiographical, grime-influenced, gig-theatre show by Daniel Ward about his experiences as a poor, black kid on a scholarship at a...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.