Chris New launches The Pilgrim Plays, in aid of SurvivorsUK
Strange times call for strange heroes…
On Tuesday 6th February 2024, SurvivorsUK will present the London premiere of The Pilgrim Plays, written and performed by Chris New (Weekend, New York Times ‘Face To Watch’) ahead of touring the play on-foot across the nation in summer 2024. This charity performance will take place in London’s venerable Actors’ Church in Covent Garden, with all ticket sales benefitting SurvivorsUK’s work supporting men, boys and non-binary people affected by sexual violence.
Book your tickets now: www.actorschurch.org/whatson/the-pilgrim-plays/
Like Samuel Beckett meets Blackadder, The Pilgrim Play charts the journey of Stink, a medieval outcast and a fool, who – struggling to find love, fleeing from death and all the while being moo’d upon by cows – faces the ultimate question; can he become our most unlikely hero?
The Pilgrim Plays marks Chris New’s first major work as a writer and performer since withdrawing from the world of acting, a decision Chris says was tied up with the long-term impact of sexual abuse which he first experienced as a teenager. As New told the i newspaper in an exclusive interview in 2022, ‘coming out’ as a survivor has been “a watershed moment” and the therapeutic support he received from SurvivorsUK has been crucial in helping him rebuild his life and return to creativity.
“Sexual violence can hold us in the past with a vice-like grip; destroying the present and denying us a future. SurvivorsUK’s services have been vital in freeing me – and thousands of others – from a past I didn’t choose and that I didn’t deserve,” says Chris.
“This performance premieres my first creative work. It is no exaggeration to say that my present happiness, my future ambitions, and my development from actor-for-hire to self-determining creative, is only available to me now because of their existence. I am proud to act as an ambassador for them and I will continue do all I can to support their vital work.”
In the UK, around 1 in 6 men will experience some form of sexual violence. Of the few men who do tell someone else what happened to them, a significant portion will take up to 31 years to do so. Stigma, shame, vulnerability, and inaccessible services can all stop these survivors receiving support at any time.
SurvivorsUK provide practical and therapeutic support to over 3,000 male and non-binary survivors each year, with 95% of service users reporting feeling more confident. This charity performance of The Pilgrim Plays is an exciting opportunity to raise awareness and funds to help SurvivorsUK support the many male and non-binary survivors who are already in our lives.
“We know first-hand that when survivors receive the right support that the results can be life-changing. The Pilgrim Plays – and the journey Chris has been on – is proof of that,” says Gary Williams, CEO of SurvivorsUK.
“We are so grateful to Chris for gifting the first London performance of this remarkable play to SurvivorsUK. Every penny raised through ticket sales will help us give male and non-binary survivors the support they need, so this show will be a great way to celebrate and support the vital work that we do.”
Tickets for The Pilgrim Plays can be booked now at www.actorschurch.org/whatson/the-pilgrim-plays/