A Bournemouth theatre production is donating 10 percent of its profits to The YOU Trust in support of their work with vulnerable people in Dorset and Hampshire.
Fresh Start – an Origins Theatre play which centres around domestic abuse in relationships – was written by Heaton Wilson and debuted at the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe on February 8.
It follows an elderly woman named Alice and her attempts to start a new life after years of suffering in an non-physical abusive marriage to her husband Bob. The play questions how we define ‘abuse’ in relationships and explores if abusers are victims themselves.
The YOU Trust, meanwhile, offers a range of community and accommodation services to victims of domestic abuse such as advice and emotional support to ensure safety and confidence to move on.
Speaking to Buzz News about the partnership, Heaton, 58, said: “The YOU Trust are close to my heart. They’ve created a new stream of work only this year which is about older victims of domestic abuse.”
“The play struck all the right notes for them and they wanted to be associated with it for that reason.
People over the age of 60 are far more likely to suffer in silence from domestic abuse and are far more likely to stay with their partner for longer.”
The YOU Trust helped more than 5000 domestic abuse victims in Dorset and Hampshire in the last year, and a statement from the charity read: “We are delighted to be supported by Origins Theatre with their play. We hope it will help people understand the complexities of domestic violence and abuse and bring the community together to help those affected by it.”
Heaton will now take Fresh Start further across the south coast including the Forest Arts Centre in New Milton (March 1), Berry Theatre in Hedge End (March 9), The Stage Door in Southampton (March 21, 22) and New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth (March 28).
“There is no experience to match live theatre,” Heaton added. “You never know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to end. If you’ve never been before, you should be bold and give it a try.”