Zigger Zagger: Interview with Director Mandeep Glover

Fri 12 Apr 2019
Director Mandeep Glover with the young cast of Zigger Zagger gathered around her

This week our Curve Young Company 12+ group hit the Studio with their production of Peter Terson’s youth theatre classic, Zigger Zagger.

Here, Director Mandeep Glover talks about the creation of the show and what audiences can expect.

What’s it all about?

 Set in the 60s, Zigger Zagger is all about a teenage boy called Harry Philton who is trying to decide how to move forward with his life – whether to start on the path of a real career for his future or to accept a mundane job which would allow him to continue to enjoy his real passion, football. It’s a choice between surviving and thriving and whether to follow your head or your heart at one of the most crucial and scariest points in your life. This makes it so relevant to the CYC 12+ group performing in the play; lots of them have their GCSEs coming up so really see themselves reflected in Harry.

Who are the main characters?

 There’s Harry, who we follow throughout the show and he has this opposing forces telling him what he should do with his life, his friend Zigger and his Uncle Les. Zigger is trying to persuade Harry to stick with his football and forget about a career whereas Uncle Les is the voice of experience who tells him ‘Get a trade under your belt and you’ll always be in need’. We’ve set these two characters up like the angel and devil on Harry’s shoulders.

There’s also all of Harry’s other friends at school. With these characters we’ve tried to stay true to the writer Peter Terson’s image of kids as caricatures of adults – playing dress up to ‘switch’ into adult roles and essentially taking the mick a bit.

How has it been directing this show?

 I’ve loved working with this group. It’s so rewarding to teach them and help them see how talented they really are. They’re a brilliant team and we’ve had a great time putting the show together. With a cast of 27, the production feels like a swarm of ants which is really effective.

It’s been important for me to treat the group with the same respect and trust as I would a professional company and they appreciate getting a hands on experience of working with a theatre.

You’re working with CYC member Liam Bone for choreography, how is this?

 Working with Liam is incredible – he’s my absolute right hand man and I can’t praise him highly enough. The choreography is more focused on movement than dance and is very stylised to show the turmoil in Harry’s mind. There’s a scene where the army and factory workers clash and Liam’s movement here is so powerful.

How about the set and costumes?

 We’ve gone for typical 60s kids’ clothing, lots of jeans, jumpers and hippie outfits without it turning into fancy dress but we do have this element of dress-up when the kids become adults. I don’t want to say too much about the set because it’s so mind-blowing but I can say that we are completely taking over Curve’s Studio!

What do you hope people feel when they see the show?

 I hope people leave our production of Zigger Zagger thinking how brilliant the performers are and how hard they’ve worked. We’ve really tried to make it as exciting as possible, packed full of creativity, energy and fun.

The story is relevant to so many people – it’s a universal dilemma, deciding what to do when you grow up and who you should listen to for the best advice. I hope people come away having had a great time and that it helps strike some important conversations, just as it has done in our rehearsal room.

Curve Young Company 12+ Group perform Zigger Zagger 11 – 13 Apr.

 For more information and to book tickets, click here.