Scot Williams, (star of such Films as Backbeat, Hillsborough, The Crew, Tulse Luper, Clubbed, Redirected and Just Charlie) brings one of THE most powerful plays ever written to the Liverpool stage for the very first time.

FESTEN, a stage adaptation by David Eldridge of Thomas Vinterberg’s Cannes Jury Prize Winning Dogme film of the same name, will run for three nights only on 24, 24 and 25 May 2019 at The Hope Street Theatre.

The play observes the events that unfold at the ancestral home of three adult children during a reunion to celebrate their father’s 60th birthday. As the time arises for birthday speeches to be made, one of the children stands and asks the guests to choose which of two prepared speeches he should read. The guests select one not knowing its contents, and the son declares it the “truth speech”. As he begins to talk, it becomes clear that he is not praising his father but accusing him of having sexually abused him and his sister, (who later committed suicide), during their childhood. The rest of the story examines the family’s turbulent battle with the truth, to discover whether the son’s cold rage is justified or the product of a deranged imagination.

Due to its subject matter, Scot has teamed up with NAPAC (The National Association for People Abused in Childhood) and pledged to donate 100% of profits to help aid this important charity.

Tickets are just £10 each from the Hope Street Theatre Box Office on 0344 561 062 or via Ticketmaster at www.hopestreettheatre.com

Talking of his decision to stage FESTEN as a charity fundraiser, Scot said: “I only direct plays whose subject matter is close to my heart. As somebody who has been close to survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I know only too well how important a charity such as NAPAC really is. The availability of an outlet, a kind ear and a shoulder to lean on, can at times be quite literally a life saver. I hope that FESTEN brings NAPAC into the consciousness of survivors of abuse and encourages them to reach out for help, as well as raise some much needed funds for vital support line service.

Peter Saunders, Founder of NAPAC said of the play: “This is an important piece of theatre that shines a spotlight on the challenging issue of child abuse. Childhood trauma damages people, but recovery from abuse is possible at any stage in life. We hope this show raises our profile and brings in some vital funds to help NAPAC meet the growing demand on our support line.”

Notes to editors:

• NAPAC had over 85,000 call attempts to its support line in 2018 and took over 6,500 calls. The charity is planning to double the number of calls it takes over the next year.

• 85% of callers to NAPAC’s support line were abused in childhood by someone in their family network. This is for all types of abuse including physical, sexual, emotional and neglect.

• 12% of people calling NAPAC have never told anyone before about the abuse they suffered as child. Callers may have waited years or even decades before speaking about what happened.

• People who suffered abuse by a family member may have to see their abuser at family events. If they go ‘no contact’ with family, they may feel very isolated. If they disclose, it may split the family.

• NAPAC also provides support to partners and family members of survivors, who may be wondering how best to help or struggling with the emotional impacts themselves. https://napac.org.uk/know-a-survivor/

• For data on the number of adults who suffered abuse during childhood, see the ONS National Crime Survey data for England and Wales https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/abuseduringchildhood/findingsfromtheyearendingmarch2016crimesurveyforenglandandwales#main- points

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