21 April 2020

ZARA in your living room – April 2020 livestream review

To mark its first anniversary ZARA live-streamed its way into our living rooms on Sunday April 19, and reminded us all of the emotive power of this ground-breaking collaboration.

At a time when the whole world is experiencing everything from fitness, home schooling and culture from various portals across the internet, we were excited to join the latest line up of digital performance offerings with the first anniversary livestream of ZARA, our ground-breaking collaboration with Mind the Gap Theatre and Emergency Exit Arts London.

The livestream performance went out on Sunday evening, April 19 at 8pm and, as a pre-event overture, Mind the Gap managed to pull together a zoom re-union meeting of over 50 members of the cast before the show went live.

The livestream has so far attracted 1.5m unique views and was seen way beyond the UK with downloads, so far, in the US, Canada, Greece and Malaysia.

With lockdown creating so many restrictions on our movements it was really great to revisit this production a year on from its live performances, which took place at both The Piece Hall in Halifax and Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, next to the Imperial War Museum, in London.   The emotional pull of this piece of work remains as strong as ever and seeing it again reminded us all of the amazing resilience of the cast.  The London performances were prepared outdoors in far less favourable conditions than the balmy warm weather we experienced in Halifax a month before.

The livestream will remain on Mind the Gap’s YouTube site until May 11, 2020.  Click on this ZARA livestream link to see the show.  And there’s also an audio-described version here.

Finally, check out this great review in yesterday’s Guardian by Kate Wyver ZARA review – giant baby leads her army into your living room, Guardian, 20 April

“Zara successfully challenges assumptions, and boldly and creatively gives a voice to parents with learning disabilities.” Kate Wyver

Reviews from last year:

“Moving, thought provoking, ambitious, creatively magnificent and done at huge scale, world premiere of ZARA2019 at The Piece Hall in Halifax tonight.  Brilliant #ACEsupported collaboration between Walj the Plank and Mind the Gap.”  Darren Henley, Arts Council England, Twitter.

“ZARA was everything great theatre should be: thought provoking, touching, funny, sad, truthful, moving…to be all this and truly inclusive elevates this to masterpiece status.” Gus Alston, Twitter

“Just saw the opening of ZARA2019 at the Piece Hall Halifax.  Amazing giant puppet.  Found it very personal and moving for a show of that scale.  Well done Mind the Gap and Walk the Plank.”  Thingumajig Theatre, Twitter