Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage

Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage

"Moving and revelatory series...Above all, it left one with a sense that there was something unifying and important about being human." The Guardian (Five stars)

"This is profoundly touching television. Keep the tissues handy." Evening Standard

"A profound, and profoundly moving, exploration of the nature of great loss." Radio Times

"Mainstream documentary making at its most socially significant." Saturday Review, BBC Radio 4

"Very delicate subjects were handled well and originally, with Perry managing to be thoughtful, challenging, even exuberant, without any sense of clod-hopping intrusion or insensitivity." The Observer

"The celebrity potter and Turner Prize winner embarks on a colourful, four-part travelogue." Financial Times (Five stars)


In this four-part series for Channel 4, Grayson Perry explores the landmark events in all of our lives “ birth, coming of age, marriage and death “ and try to reinvent them for our modern secular age. Travelling the world for inspiration, he spends time with communities in the Amazon, Indonesia and Japan to see how they treat these great moments. Back home Grayson collaborates with British families to devise ceremonies to mark a genuine milestone in their lives.

Grayson believes in the power of ritual to help us make sense of our lives, and thinks we are in danger of losing our way when it comes to marking those important moments today. Religions all have their rituals “ weddings, funerals, christenings “ but the UK is now one of the most secular countries in the world, so they dont always resonate with everyone. At their worst, they can feel empty and impersonal. And in a modern Britain of divorce, blended families and gay marriage, the traditional ceremonies dont always fit with the way we actually live our lives.

In its international sweep, and its focus on the big life experiences we all go through, this is Grayson Perrys most ambitious series yet.
Watch all four episodes here