The world premiere of a new play about domestic abuse takes place at the Shelley Theatre with a special charity performance on Thursday, February 8.

There will also be a chance to meet and question the cast and writer.

Fresh Start is all about Alice, an older woman whose hopes of escaping her rundown home and her abusive husband are closely linked.

She’s got the support of a young man from a property company, and her ever-present neighbour Beryl. But are they all they seem, or is Alice about to jump out of the old frying pan and into a brand new fire?

The play is directed by Kevin Wilson (and written by him under his pen name Heaton Wilson) for Origins Theatre. He said: “It’s a very difficult and emotional subject, but this play approaches it sensitively and with some touches of humour, too. Audiences will be engaged from the start, and wondering what is going to happen right up to the end.

“Fresh Start explores themes that affect a lot of people, many of whom find it difficult to talk about, even to people they know. We are proud to be collaborating with The YOU Trust, who are working so hard to tackle this issue in Hampshire and Dorset.”

A spokesperson for the Trust added. “Domestic abuse continues to remain vastly hidden within the community and we as a charity are passionate to raise awareness of this crime in many different ways.”