A new interactive “game theatre” play produced by Cherwell Theatre Company (CTC) is coming to Harrogate. This hilarious new piece, inspired by the world of Dungeons and Dragons, incorporates epic battle sequences, creative use of puppetry and audience game play. It has been devised and developed with young people and is presented in partnership with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

‘Sam and Zoe Vs Evermore’ is inspired in part by the young people CTC works with, who are passionate about Dungeons and Dragons (“DnD”) but experience social anxiety. “In our play Sam is depressed and Zoe can’t seem to reach him, so she designs an interactive adventure to play with an audience in a last ditch attempt to save their relationship.” explains CTC Artistic Director, Tristan Jackson-Pate, who has written the play with actors Krage Brown and Jess Lloyd-Jones, who star in the show as their respective title characters, Sam and Zoe.

Gaming culture has recently been making headlines with online DnD groups thriving over lockdown and research showing engagement with RPGs can improve players’ empathy, frustration tolerance & problem solving skills.

“We were partially inspired by a US charity, Game to Grow who have pioneered therapeutic DnD experiences for young people with anxiety, ADHD & Aspergers” said Jackson-Pate. “They’ve seen amazing results from participants who won’t attend therapy but increase their confidence, social interaction and sense of well-being through playing these wonderfully imaginative games. We’ve partnered with the charity CALM and Oxfordshire Response for this project, to promote honest conversations around mental health and explore communication in relationships, though with a light, comedic touch.”

The show concept was originally devised in 2020 just before the pandemic hit and was co-developed with young people during R&D sessions.  They further developed the show with the cast and creatives plus 25 young people aged 11-25 over 4 weeks, promoting participatory opportunities in story development, set, costume and sound design in a collaborative approach to modern theatre-making.

Sam and Zoe Vs Evermore will be performing at Harrogate Theatre on 2nd April 2022 at 7.30pm. For tickets and bookings, please visit: https://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/Sam-and-Zoe-vs-Evermore


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