About Zest

Zest exists to bring inspiration and innovation to a new generation of theatre audiences.

Established in 2007, we tour to theatres, festivals, outdoor spaces and schools with award winning work described as ‘unpretentious’ (The Stage) and ‘invigorating’ (The British Theatre Guide). Our interactive, immersive and site-specific productions actively place the audience right at the heart of the story. 

Zest’s work reaches around 20,000 young people across the country every year! We are passionate about the development of young audiences. Each production is inspired by the needs, lives and imaginations of those aged under 25. See more about this below.

We have eclectic tastes and love creating bold new ideas – this means that there is no such thing as a ‘Zest Style’; each of our shows are very different. However, innovation, humour, empowerment and accessibility are integral to every show we produce, creating a DNA that is unmistakably Zest's.

In addition to our extensive touring programme, Zest Theatre are lead artists for Lost Village Festival. Zest has provided the entire theatre creative for the festival since 2015, bringing the immersive world of Lost Village to life for a capacity crowd of 14,000 each year. 

Zest Theatre is proudly based in Lincoln and works closely with local partners to support the development of Lincolnshire’s arts and culture sector.

The Zest Effect

Zest uses a collaborative approach to creating our work, with every member of the cast and creative team contributing to the making of each production. At the heart of this creative process is in-depth research and co-creation with young people, giving Zest a powerful insight into the lives and minds of our intended audience. 

Through expertly led workshops and conversations, our unique practice gently unlocks the voices and creativity of young people, enabling participants to share their thoughts and feelings in the most incredible ways.

It’s not rocket science - it’s just conversation, but the impact is tangible and enriches our productions. Our participants leave feeling empowered, making their voices heard and discovering new things about themselves and their peers.

We call this the Zest Effect.


WINNERS of the Off West End Award 2018 for Best Production for Young People 13+

It is clear that Zest Theatre is doing valuable work with teenagers
— Broadway Baby
Zest relishes the opportunity to captivate those who may think theatre isn’t for them
— A Younger Theatre
This is exactly the work that young audiences need and want to see. Cannot wait to have you back.
— Corinne Micallef, Joint CEO - Pegasus Theatre, Oxford
I have come to the conclusion that Zest is making some of the best work for a young/teen audience.
— Kate Cross, Director - The Egg, Bath
Zest bring to the young people’s theatre sector something quite unique. It’s an empathy and a genuine dialogue that allows their work to speak in a way that most companies just go no where near.
— Chris Elwell, Director - Half Moon Theatre

On the Road

Zest's work has toured extensively across the UK, including the following venues and festivals:

ArtsDepot, London
Arts by the Sea Festival, Bournemouth
Bicester Festival
Big Dreamers Festival, Worcester
Bradford Festival
Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton-Upon-Trent
Bridgehouse Theatre, Warwick
Burnley Arts Centre
Cast, Doncaster
Cambridgshire Libraries
Cornerstone, Didcot
Create Theatre, Mansfield
Darlington Hippodrome
Derby Theatre
Dorchester Arts
Edge Hill University
Farnham Maltings
FebFest, Luton
Frequency Festival, Lincoln
Great Exhibition of the North
Greenwich & Lewisham Young People's Theatre
Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham
Half Moon Theatre, London
Harlow Playhouse
Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre
House Theatre
Juice Festival, NewcastleGateshead
Key Fest, Peterborough
Leeds In Motion Festival
Lincoln Drill Hall
Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
Lost Village Festival
Lyric Hammersmith, London
Maria Theatre, Lowestoft
National Centre for Craft and Design
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Northern Stage, Newcastle
Pegasus Theatre, Oxford
Pavillion Dance South West
Riverhead Theatre, Louth
Royal Norfolk Show
South Holland Centre
Sunderland Stages
Stamford Arts Centre
Stratford Circus
St Helen's Libraries
TakeOff Festival
Terry O'Toole Theatre, Lincoln
The Baltic, Gateshead
The Civic, Barnsley
The Egg, Bath
The Garage, Norwich
The Hat Factory, Luton
The Hive, Shrewsbury
The Marlowe, Canterbury
The Mill, Banbury
The Old Market, Brighton
The Point, Eastleigh
The Quarry Theatre, Bedford
The Woodville, Gravesend
Transported, Lincolnshire
Waterside Arts Centre, Sale
West End Centre, Aldershot
York Theatre Royal