Pioneering Theatre, Music and Community Arts

 In Wolverhampton from 1980 to 2013

Wolverhampton

1982 - 2013

Zip Theatre gratefully

received support

from

Awarded the

Matrix Standard for

Independent

Advice & Guidance

“Excellent - from the first phone call to the curtain call!”

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The Wolverhampton Mystery Cycle, Express and Star 02.06.2004 - by Joe Sweeney

Wolverhampton-based Zip Theatre's biblical epic, newly revamped for it's run at the city's Grand Theatre, returns to the stage in triumphant form here.

Taking the most notable stories in the Bible-from the creation of the world and Adam and Eve through to the crucifixion and judgement day-this is a superbly colourful, innovative and brilliantly performed piece of theatre from the word go.

Each bite-sized episode, concisely scripted and underpinned by an essence of grounded Black Country humour throughout, tells its story in a thought-provoking yet thoroughly entertaining fashion. And there are some commendable individual turns, as well as a host of visual treats to lap up.

Colin Dixon's focused Jesus, Dennis Ffrench's extravagantly attired Lucifer and Lesley Beaumont's tongue-in-cheek God are all most engaging.

From a costume and scenery point of view, there is a clear and admirable depth to Zip's efforts for which they deserve much credit - the entrance of their brightly painted Noah's Ark had the audience applauding the second it came into view.

Zip also back this venture with their own original music. Of particular note was The Wheel Of Life which earned its singer Jackie Deane well deserved applause.

Such a shame so few people turned out to see this. Audiences should not be deterred by the serious element of the subject matter - this is a most enjoyable show played out with wonderful enthusiasm.

Clever, funny and moving, Zip's interpretation of these Bible tales is not to be missed. A great piece of community theatre which they, and Wolverhampton on the whole, should be very proud of. The show runs until Saturday.

2: AdNews 28.6.01

Over two year's sweat and slog came to glorious fruition in Zip Theatre's Mystery Cycle production at the Civic Hall last week… and it was well worth the wait.To have managed to combine the talents of so many people of differing ages, abilities, racial groups and motivations was stunning to say the least.

The lead roles were performed with both understanding and dynamism, the music was superb, the sets magical and the whole package worthy of a much greater audience.And it was fun to see something that has, save for a few, very publicised venues, dropped from popular culture, brought scintillatingly back to life.

One can understand the Church itself wanting to discontinue "mystery" stories with so " Old Testament" a bias, portraying a peevish God, content to destroy life to punish disobedience. But it is important to remind ourselves that from this very matrix Christianity was born - turning such concepts on their head for all time. Zip got that message across powerfully.

But that Zip Theatre, of all bodies should perform this, must have made a number of people think very hard and remember days gone by.Days when the group was in dire straits. Days Zip would rather forget. Days when certain councillors were telling the press that money for Zip was money "down the drain". It took gritty determination to hold on to what they had and not march off, lock, stock and talent to a more deserving town..... (continues on next page)

reviews 7 b Reviews