Zones of Avoidance

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


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“… an ambitious multimedia presentation using film, voices and sound, which works exceptionally well …”

Zones of Avoidance was winner in 2013 of The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.

Denise Riley, speaking on behalf of the judges, commented:

“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. Beautifully written and uncompromising, it’s a modern story that we felt the writer was compelled to tell; it acts as a vivid witness of harsh experiences which aren’t often described in poetry, and Maggie Sawkins’ illuminating descriptions will prove helpful for others to hear.”

The work explores a mother’s quest to understand her daughter’s descent into addiction. As well as telling the heart rending story of ‘sunny girl’ and the consequences of her dual diagnosis, the work is a meditation on the perennial nature of addiction. Fusing the real life testimonies of addicts in recovery with vivid language and evocative film, Zones give a powerfully moving account of a family visited by serious addiction and how a mother had to learn the meaning of ‘tough love’.

Zones of Avoidance is available for performance at venues, festivals and conferences.

Contact us at: zonesofavoidance@gmail.com

Production photo (Cockpit Theatre, London) by Nivine F. Keating

Audience feedback:

“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, fighting back the tears.”

“… superbly crafted and immensely moving …”

“One of the most moving, thought provoking things I’ve seen”

Read more feedback and reviews here »

To see other videos from the production, visit MEDIA »


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Zones of Avoidance at HMP Downview

The next performance of Zones of Avoidance will take place at Downview Prison on the border of Surrey and the London Borough of Sutton. Penned Up at Downview is the first literature festival (ever, so far as we know) to be held in a women’s prison and Zones of Avoidance will be one of the key events at a jail where many prisoners are serving time for drug-related offences.

Date/time: Tuesday 4 September, 2.00pm

Production photo by Nivine F. Keating


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Zones of Avoidance in Lewes, East Sussex

NEXT PERFORMANCE

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


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Zones of Avoidance in Bristol

NEXT PERFORMANCE

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.