Chris Newens is a journalist and playwright, originally from South West London. After a degree in social anthropology at the London School of Economics, he moved to Paris to intern with the International Herald Tribune and later to work as a stringer for the New York Times.
He then spent a year living in a small community in rural New South Wales, working alongside Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service to produce signage and information pamphlets on topics from non-native grasses to Aboriginal mythology.
Following a return to Paris, he was featured in the Guardian for his work as co-founder of the Montmartre Dionysia theatre festival, which latterly evolved into the Paris Fringe, and he now co-runs Fourplay, a Paris-based theatre and arts collective.
His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Statesman, and The Financial Times, among other publications, and includes a piece for Roads & Kingdoms that appeared in the international anthology Best Food Writing 2016.
He also collaborated with award winning composer Victoria Bernath on the libretto for her chamber opera ‘Tides’, which premiered at the Concertgebouw Brugge in February, 2017, and is now on tour around the world.
In March, 2017 he won the Financial Times/Bodley Head Essay Prize for his piece “Cash & Curry” about demonetisation in India and a pilgrimage in the footsteps of a TV chef, described by the judges as “the undisputed frontrunner” in a competition that attracted hundreds of entries worldwide.
He is currently at work on a book about the world’s different bullfighting cultures, going far beyond Spain to consider variations on the custom in places as disparate as Southern India and the U.S.A.