Thrive - a new show for young audiences

Zest Theatre is creating a powerful new show for teenagers about the psychological effects of trauma and thriving in the face of adversity.

We did it!

On 19th Oct 2015 we successfully raised £1,360 with 24 supporters in 28 days

Project Aim

Research suggests that roughly half of the British population will experience at least one traumatic event over the course of their lifetime. With that statistic in mind, Zest Theatre is currently creating a powerful new show for young people to explore the psychological effects of trauma. Developed in collaboration with Psychologists and inspired by true stories of young people, Thrive will be an interactive and life-affirming look at finding compassion, forgiveness, perseverance and hope in the face of adversity.

About Zest Theatre

Zest is a national touring theatre company creating innovative, interactive work for, by and with young people. Zest Theatre was established in 2007. We tour to theatres, outdoor spaces and schools with a variety of immersive, site specific or promenade productions. Our work places the audience right at the centre of the action and creative process. Each year we engage around 19,000 people across the country as audience members or participants with productions that have been described as ‘inclusive’ (The Northern Echo) and ‘invigorating’ (The British Theatre Guide).

Claire Gaydon as Ashleigh - Research and Development July 2015

About Thrive

Zest’s extensive work with young people often sees us working with those who are most at risk in our communities. We regularly come across young people whose difficult life experience has left them feeling like they're damaged, rejected and worthless. It is our experience of using the arts to empower, support and develop young people that led us to embark on this project. As we read continued reports in the media of the increase in young people’s mental health issues, it has never felt more relevant.

We want to create Thrive, a new touring production for theatre venues that will explore the notion of Post-Traumatic Growth - the positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. Thrive will delve into the lives and minds of 3 young people as their world gets turned upside down. We're currently creating an empowering and life-affirming production that embodies compassion, forgiveness, perseverance and hope. Audiences will follow our characters through a beautifully designed set as they help them recover, survive and maybe even Thrive.

Thrive is currently in development and will complete a preview tour this Autumn as we test the show on the road:

Lincoln Drill Hall Tuesday 10th November @ 6.00pm & 8.00pmwww.lincolndrillhall.comStamford Arts Centre Wednesday 11th November @ 6.00pm & 8.00pmwww.stamfordartscentre.comGuildhall Arts Centre, Grantham Thursday 12th November @ 6.00pm & 8.00pmwww.guildhallartscentre.comCast, Doncaster Friday 13th November @ 6.00pm &

Following these preview dates we'll then complete a more extensive national tour of the UK in Autumn 2016!

 The cast of Thrive - Research and Development July 2015

Why We Need Your Support

Zest Theatre is a charity that creates exciting theatre for, by and with young people. All our work is created to excite, educate, empower and entertain in order to make a real difference to the lives of individuals and communities we work with. Thrive will be no different. 

We've already done a lot of work to gather as much funding as possible to make Thrive a reality. Through funding from Arts Council England, Winship Foundation, CAW Foundation and a commission from Lincolnshire One Venues, we have already secured 96% of our budget. But we are yet to secure the final 4%, hence this crowd funding campaign.   We've had a great relationship with our local authorities over the years. They have been very generous in their financial support of our work. But due the cuts to public spending those funding pots simply don't exist anymore. So, for the first time we are turning to the public to support the creation of a new show. Because we take care to research and develop our shows alongside young people; and because we’re determined to make sure children and young people get the quality theatre they’re entitled to, what we do doesn’t come cheap. We receive no core funding so rely solely on grants, donations and fundraising to be able to do what we do.   Every penny you contribute will be used to support the large costs of designing and building our amazing new set. We want to create an immersive world for our audiences to explore. Barney George's visually stunning design isn't just a pretty backdrop to the show, it's integral to the narrative - almost a character in its own right. His amazing design echos our poetic and powerful storytelling to bring both the lives and the minds of our characters to life.   As a charity we can also claim Gift Aid on your pledge making your donation go even further! 

Dan Morgan as Ollie - Research and Development July 2015

The Team

We've pulled together a brilliant team of performers and creatives to make Thrive a reality:

CastClaire GaydonDan MorganLuke VernonDirectorToby EaldenDesignerBarney GeorgeLighting DesignerBen PaceySound Designer / ComposerJoel Atkins

ProducerFiona MoonPsychology ConsultantDr Roger BrethertonDramaturgGareth MorganProduction AssistantMichael Woodhall

Please help us raise the remaining 4% of our budget to make Thrive a reality. For more information about Zest Theatre or any of our projects please visit:


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