An Illustrated History of “Bearmingham”

Peregrine Bear’s Illustrated History of Bearmingham is an 8 minute animation, which was commissioned from me by Birmingham Rep and Flatpack Festival for Box of Light, part of the Library of Birmingham‘s Discovery Season.

World famous explorer (and bear) Professor Peregrine has padded his way across the world, and heard some pretty tall tales along the way. Here, he tells the extraordinary story of Bearmingham: the city, its people, and its bears.

At the time when I was developing and writing the piece, I was preparing to move away from Birmingham for a while. To celebrate the place, I recast it as Bearmingham, and created an apocryphal history of the city.

It’s a digital piece, inspired by analogue. The slideshow format is inspired by late 18th century magical lantern shows, in which ‘showman lanternists’ would tell unlikely illustrated tales, often featuring wild animals and exotic locations.

I wrote and animated the Illustrated History. The voice of Peregrine Bear is performed by Nigel Barrett, and the recording and sound design is by Lewis Gibson.