Zones of Avoidance

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


Zones of Avoidance in Lewes, East Sussex


The next performance of Zones of Avoidance, will be hosted by Lewes Live Literature at All Saints Centre, Lewes, on Tuesday 17 July. Full details here.

Following two recent drug-related deaths at a music festival in Portsmouth, we are convening a special aftershow Q&A at this event. Panel includes Norman Baker (former Lewes MP who has spoken in favour of reforming drug policy), Professor Aldo Badiani (Director, Sussex Addiction Research & Intervention Centre), Dr Richard Whale (Principal Lecturer at Brighton & Sussex Medical School and a senior Psychiatrist at Sussex Partnership), Rose Humphries (activist with Anyone’s Child charity, an international network of families campaigning for safer drug control), writer Maggie Sawkins and addicts in recovery who have been involved with the production.

Date/time: Tuesday 17 July, 7.45pm
Venue: All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2LE
Tickets: £10.00 advance / £12 door
Box Office: tickets available online from LLL Productions / enquiries 0797 203 7612 »

Production photo by Nivine F. Keating

To see other videos from the production, visit MEDIA »


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Zones of Avoidance on the Isle of Wight


The next performance of Zones of Avoidance will take place at Quay Arts, a lovely arts centre in Newport Harbour on the Isle of Wight. The event is also part of Hampshire Festival of the Mind.

Date/time: Thursday 10 May, 7.30pm
Venue: Quay Arts, 15 Sea Street, Newport Harbour, Isle of Wight PO30 5BD
Tickets: £10.00
Box Office: 01983 822490 or online here »

Production photo by Nivine F. Keating

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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 »

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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