Zest are Off West End Award Winners!

Having wowed audiences across the country at the end of last year, we're delighted that What Once Was Ours was announced as the winner of the Best Production for Young People 13+ at the Off West End Awards! What Once Was Ours, an immersive production co-produced with Half Moon Theatre, explored the unheard opinions of young people towards Brexit.

The Offies were announced in a ceremony at The Albany in Deptford on Sunday 4 March 2018, with London's night czar Amy Lamé hosting. Guest presenters included Sheila Hancock and Linda Marlowe.

The Offies celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London and have been running since 2011. Zest’s win at such a London focussed event highlights the importance of the work of regional theatre companies and the quality of the developing arts sector in our home county of Lincolnshire. The Best Production for Young People Aged 13+ award was a new category for 2018, so this was the first time the prize had been presented.

What Once Was Ours was created against the background of Brexit and developed through direct contact with over 200 teenagers from two areas of Britain that voted Leave and two areas that voted Remain to highlight the opinions of those too young to vote in the referendum. The production used their words and opinions to explore how politics and national values impacted on the complex lives of one family.

What Once Was Ours was rehearsed at Lincoln Drill Hall and opened at Half Moon Theatre in London’s East End in October 2017 before touring nationally to 26 venues throughout the Autumn.


And the winner is...

Toby's acceptance speech

"On behalf of everyone at Zest Theatre and Half Moon, we want to thank Offies for creating this catagory, not only because we've won it, but because you've really recognised the importance of work made for this really inspirational age range. 

The impetus for this show was Brexit and the unheard voices of young people across the country who were denied a voice because they were too young to vote. We worked with 215 young people across the country; Tower Hamlets, Barnsley, Boston and Sunderland to make it.  This award is dedicated to them. It's not easy being a young person at the moment, so we give it to them and say thank you for this."