National Youth Theatre, Wilton’s Music Hall
Guest reviewer: Alex SaddiqiI personally was unfamiliar of the work
I personally was unfamiliar of the work of Peter Terson prior to my viewing of the National Youth Theatre production of Zigger Zagger, so I was watching this performance with no context and knowledge prior. I only knew the subject of what the performance was based around.
Zigger Zagger tells the story of Harry Hilton played by Josh Barrow, an avid fan of his local football team, torn between the life of sex, drink and violence which football hooliganism offers and the prospect of a stable future. It’s one of the first stories to capture the culture of football hooliganism and was the National Youth Theatre’s first ever new writing commission.
Watching the entire performance, I was blown away by the ensemble moments that were dotted throughout. I felt as though they were very well presented and the vocals of the entire cast resonated throughout the whole venue and created beautiful sounds. Also, the vibe of the 70s/80s setting around the piece was very well presented; from the Jackie magazine to the music that was played, even down to the choreography. While we are on the subject of music I have to highlight the outstanding work of the musicians who played live during the piece. They both worked very well together to create some lovely sounds that really benefitted many of the scenes.
There are a huge array of characters that show very interesting development as the story progresses and the actors who portray them do a brilliant job. There are some rich and beautiful character relationships with one another that are very strong and I found great pleasure in watching how the story unfolded. There was so much talent and professionalism during this show, especially from some of the younger performers.
They all seemed in the moment and seemed to be really indulging in the world that was built around them of this 70s/80s football hooligan setting. There are visuals inside the piece that are very interesting and turn the set from one space to another.
At some points there were parts of the show where you could see actors crossing in the back of a scene or shadows cast by cast members which distracted from some points on the centre stage, but such a minor “inconvenience” does not distract from the hard work and power that each cast member has put into this show. If I were to put the piece in a rating out of five stars I would give it a four out of five and I would recommend this show to others especially young people who might find passion in the arts and theatre as a whole.