The Canary

and the Crow

Written by DANIEL WARD
Music by PREZ 96 and JAMES FREWER
Directed by PAUL SMITH


Writers' Guild Award - Best Play for Young Audiences - Daniel Ward
George Devine Award - Most Promising Playwright - Daniel Ward
Off West End Award - Best Performance Ensemble
Off West End Award - Best Performance Piece - Daniel Ward
Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence

Award-winning grime and hip hop-inspired gig theatre

The Canary and the Crow is award-winning grime and hip hop-inspired gig theatre about the journey of a working class Black kid who’s accepted to a prestigious grammar school.

This lyrical, semi-autobiographical play from writer and performer Daniel Ward uses original live music from Prez 96 and James Frewer to tell a story of the struggle between a new environment that doesn’t accept you and an old one that has no opportunity.

Originally written in 2014, Daniel developed the script with Middle Child during a week-long residency in 2018. Middle Child then produced and premiered the show at Hull Truck Theatre in 2019.

The Canary and the Crow toured to Latitude Festival, then the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and an autumn tour with the Paines Plough Roundabout, followed by a run at London’s Arcola Theatre in early 2020.


Age: 14+
Running time: 70 minutes

Contains themes of racial identity and class, with some strong language. See our contents note page for a plot summary.



Hull Truck Theatre, Hull
16-17 Jul

Paines Plough Roundabout, Edinburgh
31 Jul-25 Aug

Paines Plough Roundabout, Tour


Arcola Theatre, London
16 Jan-8 Feb



“The audience was on their feet before the show was even finished”
The List


“[Slams] the racism and classism inherent in the private school system with the power and energy of a backstreet grime concert.”
Broadway Baby


“Stunning, stunning theatre… It is open, energetic, warm and inviting.”
Miro Magazine




Rachel Barnes - Performer
Rachel Barnes
Laurie Jamieson - Performer
Laurie Jamieson
A smiling Black man in black shirt, slim gold necklace and black baseball cap with green visor
Nigel Taylor
Daniel Ward - Performer
Daniel Ward

Creative Team

Writer – Daniel Ward
Director – Paul Smith
Co-composer – Prez 96
Co-composer and Musical Director – James Frewer
Designer – Natalie Young
Lighting Designer – Jess Addinall
Movement Director – Ryan Harston
Artistic Associate – Matthew May