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New Brexit-themed production puts real views of young people in the spotlight

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Half Moon and Zest Theatre bring What Once Was Ours to 27 venues from October. This influential and highly contemporary production is based on interviews in workshops created by the collaboration of two of the United Kingdom’s leading youth theatre companies.

The plot revolves around a half-brother and sister’s complicated relationship. Katie and Callum come from essentially different backgrounds and are united solely by their father’s blood.

The brother is suddenly in need of help, which gives rise to the plot twist. The enveloping scenic design, metaphorical lining of the story and the immersive original musical accompaniment create a striking play, which above all makes us reconsider our humanity and consideration for others.

Inspired by recent contradicting political views, the production aims to establish a truly honest conversation, which perhaps could be the foundation of sincere change.

Throughout extensive workshops held between November 2016 and January 2017 in Gateshead, Newcastle, Barnsley, Lincolnshire, and Tower Hamlets with young British citizens, the show boldly comments on divisions among UK’s youth that arise from their views on Brexit, British culture, national self-awareness, and the intersection between society and politics.

The performance incorporates quotes from these conversations verbatim, making it authentic and fearless.

As Half Moon’s director Chris Elwell comments:

“What we found with the young people we worked with in our local Tower Hamlets schools was that they are so used to living in a tolerant and multicultural society that they hadn't considered what it might feel like to live somewhere more divided.

“As we delved into those opinions further with them, they talked about how they do sometimes group together with people with whom they feel a racial or cultural affinity, but that equally they are blind to those things more often than not.” 

Both theatre companies are renowned for their extensive work with young performers and facilitating artists’ personal and professional growth.

Half Moon and Zest Theatre strive to expose the younger generation’s inner conflicts and feelings through their work. This is exemplified by director Toby Ealden’s past work as director of Nacro, a youth theatre organisation dedicated to a national crime reduction charity which toured across the country, including the National Theatre.

The work of these companies is admirable simply because they aim to provide an original and genuine view on a highly misunderstood and complex subject: the collective consciousness of a vibrant and diverse British youth.

The show will run between the 5th of October and the 24th of November 2017, touring over 27 venues.

Further details on tour dates and tickets can be obtained at the following websites: www.zesttheatre.com or www.halfmoon.org.uk.

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