Zest airs views of young people during pandemic

Published: 11 October 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Fit for purpose on digital platforms”: *untitled

Lincoln-based Zest Theatre has reunited some of the young people who toured a 2019 production to come up with *untitled, a “virtual EP” which is to have its première on YouTube.

Youthquake toured the country and was inspired by interviews with 800 young people from 11 cities. Each performance put local people aged between 17 and 20 centre-stage and explored what it meant to be young and change the world.

Zest Theatre founder and director Toby Ealden and producer Catherine Fowles felt it was important to have a legacy project for the casts of Youthquake. Made remotely and filmed on mobile phones, *untitled is a 20-minute piece made up of music videos, monologues, poetry and conversation.

Fowles said, “our aim with *untitled was to make a piece that was fit for purpose on the digital platforms available to us in a time when touring isn’t financially viable.

“It was exciting to explore a new way of working while creating a space for young people already familiar with Zest’s process to delve into their own creative practice. Supported by the professional team from Youthquake, it felt like an opportunity for everyone to think differently about what it means to develop and make work.”

Ealden added, “we quickly discovered that all the same issues the young people had been angry about during Youthquake had been compounded by the conditions of the pandemic.

“They felt completely silenced by the adult world, as though their struggles and the stress of living during this time weren't important. But something felt different. They weren’t just angry; they were actively ready to take things into their own hands. They've grown older and braver, and are now entering the world in their own right. They're no longer waiting for permission to be themselves."

*untitled will première on Zest Theatre’s YouTube channel on Thursday 22 October at 7:30PM.