Zones of Avoidance

~ a multimedia live literature production written and performed by poet Maggie Sawkins & directed by Mark C. Hewitt

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Zones of Avoidance in Bristol


Zones of Avoidance goes next to Bristol as part of ‘Bristol Takes Drugs Seriously’, a week of events and activity organised by the Bristol-based Transform Drug Policy Foundation. The performance will be followed by Q&A and discussion.

Date/time: Monday 2 October, 8.00pm
Venue: The Bristol Improv Theatre, 50 St Paul’s Road, Bristol BS8 1LP
Tickets: £10.00 / £5.00 concessions
Box Office: 07936 617158 or online from The BIT »

Production photo by Nivine F. Keating


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Zones of Avoidance – what people have said

“This is an ambitious multimedia presentation using film, voices and sound, which works exceptionally well. It is a challenging, painfully open account of a daughter’s addiction, yet it’s an account which also offers graceful good humour.” 

“… a really extraordinary performance piece.” 

“I’ve never been so effected by a poetry performance as I was during this one. It was so beautifully haunting, honest and devastating – I hung on every word, image and sound …” 

Read who said what on the Feedback & Reviews page.

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Poetry workshops at Erlestoke Prison, March 2017

In March 2017, Maggie Sawkins will be running creative writing sessions with people in recovery from addictions at HMP Erlestoke in Wiltshire. The workshops will be part of Penned Up at Erlestoke, a second literature festival in a prison run by LLL Productions. Zones of Avoidance featured as part of the first Penned Up programme at Lewes Prison, and this time, sister production Diving into the Wreck will feature.


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Zones of Avoidance at Winchester Uni


Zones of Avoidance returns to Hampshire in October for a performance at the University of Winchester’s Performing Arts Studios.

Date/time: Saturday 29 October, 7.30pm
Venue: Performing Arts Studio 2, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road SO22 4NR
Tickets: £9.00 / free for students (available on door only)
For advance reservations: contact / 01962 827267 or Barbara Large on 01962 712307  (

*ZOA-46-LowResProduction photo by Nivine F. Keating


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Zones of Avoidance in Eastbourne


The next scheduled performance for Zones of Avoidance is 28 June at The Birley Centre, Eastbourne,  linked to a showing of Melanie Manchot’s video installation, Twelve, at The Towner gallery.  Both Twelve and Zones of Avoidance are explorations of addiction and both involve the voices of individuals in recovery. Melanie Manchot will also contribute to the aftershow Q&A at The Birley Centre, which is situated immediately opposite the gallery.

Date/time: Tuesday 28 June, 7.30pm
Venue: The Birley Centre, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4EF
Tickets: £9.00 (Towner members £8)
Box Office: 01323 452255

 Maggie Sawkins and Melanie Manchot on Brighton’s radio Reverb

Diving into the Wreck

Maggie Sawkins and Mark C. Hewitt have also been developing a parallel production with members of the recovery community in Portsmouth, in which they get to tell their own stories in their own words. Written and performed by former addicts, Diving into the Wreck evokes the secret world of serious addiction; its craziness, nastiness, predictable routines and dark humour. A first performance – to great audience acclaim – was given at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth, on Sunday 15 May as part of Hampshire Festival of the Mind. Like Zones of Avoidance, the production uses video sequences, recorded voices and live material. There’s a second opportunity to see the performance at the same venue on Friday 17 June as part of Portsmouth Festivities.

Read the online review by Will Sutton: here »K&D 4

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Zones of Avoidance at HMP Lewes

On the afternoon of Tuesday 10 November, Zones of Avoidance will be presented as part of Penned Up, a unique literature festival being staged within the walls of Lewes Prison. The work will be presented for prisoners using as much of the stagecraft as possible, such as video and audio, but without the stage lighting, (there being none). This will be followed by a Q&A / discussion. Penned Up, which, so far as we know, is the first literature festival in a prison, has been developed by LLL Productions and runs from 2nd – 12th November.

During the evening, there will be an event with Maggie Sawkins and poet David Swann, upstairs at The Elephant and Castle pub in Lewes, where the two writers will give short readings and talk about their work with marginalised individuals as well as their experience of working in Lewes prison earlier in the day. The event begins at 7pm. Details here »

Read a review by Greg Freeman of one of the recent performances at The Cockpit in London (30 Sept). Click here »