Have you ever made a monkey of yourself?

‘Drink With a Chimp’ is a new play by Common Chorus about one woman’s struggle with addiction and her journey to recovery. Created from the biographical experiences of addicts in recovery it will tour to theatres and recovery spaces in Leeds, York and Halifax in early June 2015. Drawing on the 12 step programme and Prof. Steve Peters ‘The Chimp Paradox’ this is a story of hope for anyone who has ever wanted to be ‘better’.

For the past year Common Chorus has been working with clients at the Spacious Places Recovery Centre in Leeds to learn what addiction from recovery really involves. Common Chorus is a theatre company that tells thought provoking stories based upon real experiences. Their shows are entertaining, thoughtful and socially political. Their style is visual, progressive and accessible. Projects are driven by Director Simon Brewis, who begins by working with individuals or groups telling important personal stories. Sometimes he works with these people to create community performances, and sometimes these stories are told by professional actors. Either way, at the heart of Common Chorus are genuine stories, which are important for people to hear.

The show has been developed as part of Theatre in The Mill’s Open Space programme and premiers at The Big Booked Festival. Funded by Arts Council England, Awards for All, Leeds Inspired and the Terry and Liz Bramall Trust, this new play explores not just what addiction is like – but what recovery is like. An important part of the recovery process at Spacious Places is inspired by Prof Steve Peter’s the Chimp Paradox, which has also helped top athletes such as Sir Chris Hoy, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Liverpool FC to control their inner Chimps and achieve success.

“Drink with a Chimp is about hope, it’s about good mental health, it’s about what we learn from people who’ve travelled to the edge and made it back again. Working with the clients at Spacious Places I’ve discovered so much that’s transferable to many parts of my own life. I want the story we’re telling to help an audience understand how a person gets to that stage and more importantly how the recovery works. Drink With a Chimp isn’t a tragic story – it’s a story about how a person can journey from rock bottom to become a role model.”

– Simon Brewis, Director.

“Recovery from addiction isn’t just about stopping taking drugs; it is about something deeper and more spiritual than that. You see drug addicts on TV and in films and most of the time you watch it and think ‘it’s nothing like that’. Helping to make a play that carries such an important message, I feel blessed and grateful. I will treasure it forever. It gave me hope of the endless possibilities now I am on the road to recovery – Once you are free from addiction, you are free from everything”.

– Spacious Place Recovery Centre Client.

Performance times and Dates Leeds / York / Halifax:

Thur 4 June, 7.45pm, presented by the Big Bookend Festival @ Carriageworks Studio Theatre, Leeds
Fri 5 June, 7.45pm, presented by the Big Bookend Festival @ Carriageworks Studio Theatre, Leeds Box Office 0113 224 3801 / www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk £8 / £6
Tues 9 June, presented by The Space @ St Georges Crypt in Leeds, 7pm To book call 01132 440008 / email Sam.Wall@multiplechoice.org.uk Pay what you feel
Wed 10 June, 12 noon, The Basement Project, Halifax To book email andrewbryant@thebasementproject.org.uk Pay what you feel
Fri 12 June, 7.30pm, The Friargatre Theatre, York Box Office 01904 613000 or online www.ridinglights.org £8 / £6
Sat 13 June, 7.30pm, South Parade Church, Headingley in Leeds To book call 0113 2754989 / http://buytickets.at/commonchorus


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