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White Feather Boxer

April 1967: World Boxing champion, Muhammad Ali refuses to fight in Vietnam. Meanwhile in a boxing gym in Bethnal Green, an elderly trainer listens to the news, recalling his own torments of WW1 when Conscription sent pacifists to prison or the firing squad. Can Jimmy face his demons from the past and has he the strength or even the patience to teach the noble art to an angry young woman.

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“In this play, I wanted to partner the most courageous of ideals with the bravest of sports. On the outset of research, I wasn’t entirely sure if such a combination could ever have existed in one man; although for me, Barry McGuigan and Manny Pacquiao come close. But then I met an elderly Quaker, who, driven by generosity of spirit and some curiosity, discovered that there had been three in the early C20th: three Quakers who had been Boxers. I had found our Jimmy Mac.”
Siobhán Nicholas

“I have searched my conscience and I find I cannot be true to my belief in my religion by accepting such a call. I have two alternatives: either go to jail or go to the army. But I would like to say that there is another alternative. And that alternative is justice”. Muhammad Ali

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. War will exist until that distant day when the Conscientious Objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today”. John F Kennedy

Presented by Take the Space. Written and directed by Siobhán Nicholas. Performed by Chris Barnes and Julia Masli.
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“This tiny company punches way above its weight – see them and experience meticulously researched theatre that stimulates, entertains and relies on skill and imagination”
The Public Review

“Julia Masli as Jo fizzed as a frustrated young female boxer at a time when women were discouraged from fighting, displaying a barely contained energy despite it being such a physical role; a steely determination evident throughout.”
Oxford Times

At the end of this performance there will be a post-show Q&A


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Thu 19 Oct