White Feather Boxer from Take The Space

With the centenary of the end of WW1 this year, Take The Space present their play about pugilism and pacifism, White Feather Boxer.


April 1967. Aging boxing trainer Jimmy hears the news that the Heavyweight Champion of the World, Muhammad Ali, has defied the US Military by refusing to fight in Vietnam. In a shabby Bethnal Green boxing gym, Jimmy reflects on the terrifying choice he made during WW1 – a time when Conscription meant prison or the firing squad awaited conscientious objectors, and when, at the peak of his boxing career, he stood up for his beliefs in the face of terrible consequences.

Now Jimmy faces a new dilemma – 16-year-old Jo needs his help. Does the 70-year-old Quaker have the strength and patience to train the impulsive and angry young woman?

This extraordinary story is about courage and seeing the good in people – and learning about what is worth fighting for.

Writer and director Siobhán Nicholas explains: “I wanted to explore – and honour – the psyche of the boxer and also capture the culture of the ring; I had a hunch that focusing on a retired boxer who has a very personal association with conscientious objection could allow me to come close to defining the qualities of bravery and duty.”


White Feather Boxer can be seen in the Royal auditorium on Friday 2 February at 7.45pm. Tickets – priced £17* – can be booked by calling on 01604 624811 or by visiting the website at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

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