Research suggests that half of the British population will experience one traumatic event in their lifetime. How do you think you would you cope if it happened to you?

When Ollie, Ashleigh and Raph are thrown together by a sudden death, they find themselves wrestling with the emotional consequences of this painful event. These three young people didn't go looking for suffering, but suffering found them anyway. Join them on their journey and stand side by side with them as they recover, survive and maybe even Thrive.

This exciting production for young people uses humour, movement and spoken word. Zest Theatre surround the audience to beautifully portray the most challenging of emotions with courage and optimism. 

Developed in collaboration with Psychologists and inspired by true stories of young people, Thrive shows us what happens when three people, pushed to the edge of what they can bear, dig deep and learn to live on. It is a life-affirming look at finding hope in the face of adversity.

Suitable for ages 14+  |  Contains strong language and emotional themes  |  Limited seating available so comfortable footwear advised


★★★★ Therapeutic, amusing and challenging
— Broadway Baby
★★★★ A brave, honest and relatable story
— Everything Theatre
Humorous and energetic
— The Stage
— A Younger Theatre
A wonderfully upbeat message
— Disclaimer Magazine



Making the Show

Audience Reactions


Production Gallery

Blog Posts



Claire Gaydon
Dan Morgan
Luke Vernon



Devised by the Company

Toby Ealden

Set and Costume Design
Barney George

Lighting Designer
Ben Pacey

Sound Designer / Composer
Joel Atkins

Psychology Consultant
Dr Roger Bretherton


Gareth Morgan

Amy O'Sullivan

Fiona Moon

Touring Technical Manager
Ruth Luckins

Company Manager
Jordan Blackwood

Tour Dates

2016 / 2017
Burnley Youth Theatre
Tuesday 4th October 2016

Sunderland Stages @ City Studio
Wednesday 5th October 2016

Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton-Upon-Trent
Thursday 6th October 2016

Gliderdrome, Boston
presented by St Barnabas Hospice
Monday 10th - Wednesday 12th October 2016

artsdepot, London
Thursday 13th October 2016

The Woodville, Gravesend
Tuesday 21st February 2017

Stratford Circus
Wednesday 22nd February 2017

The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury
Thursday 23rd February 2017

West End Centre, Aldershot
Friday 24th February 2017

The Hat Factory, Luton
Saturday 25th February 2017

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Monday 27th February 2017

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft
Tuesday 28th February 2017

Farnham Maltings
Thursday 2nd March 2017

The Point, Eastleigh
Friday 3rd March 2017

The Old Market, Brighton
Saturday 4th March 2017

Harlow Playhouse
Tuesday 7th March 2017

The Garage, Norwich
Thursday 9th March 2017

Dorchester Arts
Friday 10th March 2017

Cornerstone, Didcot
Saturday 11th March 2017

The Hive, Shrewsbury
Tuesday 14th March 2017

Lincoln Drill Hall
Thursday 16th March 2017

Bridge House Theatre, Warwick
Friday 17th March 2017

Lincoln Drill Hall
Tuesday 10th November 2015

Stamford Arts Centre 
Wednesday 11th November 2015

Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham
Thursday 12th November 2015

Cast, Doncaster
Friday 13th November 2015

Help and Advice

0300 123 3393
Text 8646

Grief Encounter
020 8371 845

Winston’s Wish
08452 03 04 05

Bereavement UK

116 123

Young Minds

Dying Matters

The Good Goodbye App (free download)
Apple App Store
Windows App Store
Google Play


Crowd Funding Backers

We are incredibly thankful to the following people supported our crowd funding campaign to help develop the show and make Thrive a reality:

Andrew and Marion Coleman
Chris and Rachel Coleman
Jamie Cook
Jane Crawshaw
Shauna Dennett
Roy and Lin Ealden
Suzie Ealden
Paige Ferguson
Jane Frenchette
Claire Gaydon
Andy and Gillian Fox
Sarah Greenshields
Simon Hollingworth
Anna Hughes
Carol Morgan
Al Orange
Amy O'Sullivan
Adam Pablo Pownall
Dawn Richmond Gordon
Wilkin Chapman Ltd.


Zest Theatre makes work that is often described as interactive, immersive, site-specific or promenade. Because our shows are a bit different audiences can sometimes have lots of questions or feeling wary about coming. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Thrive to help you get the most from the experience:

What is the Thrive experience like?
The show takes place in a visually stunning set made up of 9 interlocking ladders. The set surrounds the audience to create a unique, 360° experience with beautiful lighting and suround sound. Collectively the audience are cast as the community of friends, family and neighbours of our 3 young characters. You will literally stand shoulder to shoulder with them on their journey through the story.

Is there seating?
We do have some limited seating should you need to rest your feet. But this isn’t your usual kind of theatre experience; you are in control of your own experience. This means you can choose to sit on one of the chairs, stand, walk around, or sit on the floor. One of our production team is always on hand, so if you aren’t sure of what to do then make sure you ask for help. We suggest wearing comfortable shoes.

Is the show accessible to wheelchairs?
Yes, again, let us know and one of our production team will gladly make sure you have the best possible experience of the show.

The show sounds like it is interactive? Does that mean I'll be made to do something embarrassing? It all sounds a bit scary.
Please don't be scared! Yes, the show is interactive in places, but not as interactive as some of our previous work. Our characters will talk directly to you and may invite you to get involved. But no one is going to make you do anything you don't want to do. If you aren't up for it then just say no and the cast  will leave you alone. BUT the closer you get to the action the more you'll get out of the experience.

What should I wear?
Anything you feel comfortable in!

Does this show have headphones like your other shows?
No, we don’t use the headphones in this one. 

Who is it suitable for?
The show is suitable for those aged 14+. Thrive has been developed to target those aged 14 - 19. However, the show is really universal in its themes and will be enjoyed by people much older than our target audience. 

What is the content like?
Thrive follows 3 young people as they deal with the sudden death of a friend. The content is often emotional with some strong language; we are happy to chat this through if you'd like to know more. But this isn't designed to be a depressing night at the theatre! We developed the show with Psychologists who specialise in an area of research called Post Traumatic Growth - the positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. So, the show isn’t really about the traumatic event, instead it's about finding hope when the going gets tough. Thrive deals with the subjects of death, dying and grief with courage, optimism and lots of humour. Audiences leave feeling reflective and thoughtful. Please see the Help and Advice section above should you be affected by any of the issues raised in the performance.

Any more questions? Then don't hesitate to get back to us!

Commissioned by Lincolnshire One Venues

Supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England together with House Theatre, Winship Foundation, Sylvia Waddilove Foundation and CAW Foundation