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ZigZag ZigZag makes its way to Tyneside

Juice, the annual festival which aims to squeeze the most fun out of the half term holidays returns on Friday. Here, three young writers preview a trio of highlights from a programme dripping in youthful creativity

ZigZag ZigZag by Inne Gorris
ZigZag ZigZag by Inne Gorris

Full of fun, friendships and adventure, the brilliant coming-of-age story, ZigZag ZigZag is a promising contender to be a highlight of Juice.

A heart-warming performance for young people and their families, the show follows Nono and Chaim, two men reminiscing over their childhood memories and the magical adventures they once shared together; until a twist of fate tears their 12-year-old innocence and friendship apart.

Juice festival manager, Claire Newton says: “Juice Festival is incredibly proud to be a commissioning partner for this stunning show. ZigZag ZigZag by Inne Gorris brings the simplicity of storytelling to a space created by those who join the adventure.”

Inne is a Belgian theatre director and drama teacher, who works in an interesting way, crossing the boundaries of art, theatre and dance.

ZigZag ZigZag was inspired by the book, The ZigZag Kid, and premiered at Manchester International Festival this July.

Sarah Hiscock, creative learning co-ordinator for Manchester international festival, which co-commissioned the production, says: “Inne is brilliant at pulling out emotions and it was good for us to see a reaction from the parents – some were in tears because of the emotions. This childhood story really struck a chord.”

A surprise (which can’t be revealed just yet), is why ZigZag ZigZag has also been a success in primary schools with both teachers and pupils. So far, it has been performed in 10 schools across Manchester, to classes in years five and six.

“The response from both the teachers and pupils was great,” adds Sarah. “Key words being ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’, ‘funny’, as well as something they’ve never seen before and something they would like to see more of.”

Two lucky Juice partner schools in Newcastle Gateshead will have the pleasure and surprise of ZigZag ZigZag coming to them as part of this year’s festival.

The performance lasts 60 minutes and is skillfully performed by Alex Phillips and Joe Azzopardi, who play Nono and Chaim.

One of the best things about this piece – as mentioned above – is that this performance is not just for children: this is something that can be enjoyed and appreciated by parents, too.

Sarah says: “On the surface it could be seen as a show for children, but actually it’s a show for families because parents are getting something out of it as well.” Hopefully ZigZag ZigZag will bring laughs, fun and adventures, but most of all, touch your hearts too.

“We are over the moon to be able to share the story with children and young people and their families in the North East. Expect the unexpected and come and join us for a whirlwind journey of hope, fear and friendship,” adds Claire.

ZigZag ZigZag will be performed at various times from Sunday until Wednesday at Seven Stories in Newcastle’s Ouseburn and St Mary’s Heritage Centre, Gateshead. Call 0845 271 0777 for Seven Stories information and tickets, or visit www.sevenstories.org.uk For St Mary’s tickets (£5), visit www.juicefestival.co.uk

Linzi Wyard

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