Follein Brehm’s Life of Animals premiered in Abuja with the new piece “Hirundo rustica, the barn swallow”

Barbara Geiger as Frollein Brehm Enlarge image Barbara Geiger as Frollein Brehm (© Karsten Bartel / Barbara Geiger)

Be honest: How much do you actually know about the barn swallow Hirundo rustica? If your answer is “not much” you feel exactly like the 50 guest who came to the residence of the German Ambassador on January 23rd to watch the premiere of the newest piece of “Follein Brehm’s Life of Animals”.

But the quite unusual topic didn’t keep anyone from coming, but rather made everyone very curious: What could be so special about this little bird that you could create a one-hour theatre piece around it that is not only informative but also entertaining?!

And Frollein Brehm (or Barbara Geiger who plays Frollein Brehm) managed to prove just that. The audience was highly entertained from the very first to the very last minute and could not hold back their expressions of wonder and admiration when Frollein Brehm showed the unique features of the barn swallow. Or have you ever heard that the little bird can actually hear earthquakes before we feel them or that every year they fly a distance equivalent to seven and a half times around the earth?

The barn swallows are real wonders of nature, never tired of travelling between continents, and manage to return to the same place every year to nest – if they survive the dangerous trip between Europe and Africa. But it’s not only storms, rains and predators that threatens the little creatures but also huge nets cast to catch the birds, destroyed woods, pesticides-poisoned insects but also climate change which affects winds and weather makes their life difficult.

German actress Barbara Geiger, adopting the role of Frollein Brehm for the play, showed pictures and video footage of the barn swallow, adding entertaining anecdotes and surprising facts. Both of whom she was able to collect during her almost two-year long intensive research.

The audience was fascinated by the stories told and came to the unanimous conclusion: The barn swallow needs a bigger audience! After all, by travelling between Europe and Africa every year she manages to build The barn swallow in mid air Enlarge image The barn swallow in mid air (© Karsten Bartel / Barbara Geiger) something unique: a bridge between the continents, a connection between Germany and Nigeria, stressing the similarities rather than the differences, demanding cooperation for her protection and causing collaboration between scientists north and south of the equator.

Subsequently Barbara Geiger could welcome her scientific advisors Sara Riello and Pierfrancesco Micheloni as well as Dr Manu Schiiwua from Jos und Dr Pius Tabi Tawo from Cross Rivers in the audience without whom the detailed research needed for the theatre piece would not have been possible.

In the upcoming weeks Barbara Geiger will travel through Nigeria and perform as her alter ego in various places.

If you would like to learn more about her and her concept or are interested to see her perfom live visit her website www.brehms-tierleben.com for more information.