Cornish Mining World Heritage Site,
Collective Arts Ltd
& Trebiggan Productions present
The ZigZag Way
by Anita Desai adapted for the stage by Pauline Sheppard
It’s 1910, and young Cornish couple Betty and Davey travel to the gold and silver mines of Mexico, unaware of the perils they will face. Aside from the mining itself, there’s unrest between the natives and the incomers, and a whiff of danger is in the air. Wind forward 100 years, and Eric, an uncertain young American, arrives in Mexico on a curious quest for his Cornish roots, unprepared for what he will find. Led by Huichol Indian guides, he journeys to an old mining village on an unlikely path of self-discovery, and soon finds himself in another world…
The Zigzag Way is a gripping story which winds through cultures and across time to paint a picture of love, revolution and sacrifice.
Blending humour with pathos and past with present, this haunting and arresting tale finally leads you to a night where the veils that separate life and death are lifted and the illusion of time is broken: Dia de los Muertos – the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Combining strong ensemble playing and physical inventiveness with a cracking tale, this is story-telling at its most colourful, visual and touching.
The Zigzag Way is a powerful story of mining and migration, and the coming together of two entirely different cultures. The novel and play look at issues of cultural identity and migration; the play particularly focuses on the Cornish migrant mining community in 19th century Mexico; on the economic reasons for the emigration of Cornish miners and the effects of that both on the communities they left behind and the communities they migrated into.
The ZigZag Way winds its way through Cornish mine engines to lantern lit graveyards on the Mexican Day of the Dead, and the narrative fits perfectly into a wide variety of dramatic locations.
The play itself is a celebration of the impact Cornish mining had on the rest of the world, and subtlety interprets the Cornish mining story through dramatic narrative, song and recognisable diversity (i.e. same story, different world). The Zigzag Way is a story that dramatises in an exciting way how the evolution of mining spread to the far flung corners of the globe.