Recently nominated for Best New Play and Best Fringe Production in the Manchester Theatre Awards, Rob Ward’s knockout new play Gypsy Queen returns to London for a strictly limited season at VAULT Festival. Check out photos and video below – and then get booking!
After success on tour and at the Edinburgh Fringe and London’s King’s Head Theatre, Hope Theatre Company’s production of Gypsy Queen, written by and co-starring Rob Ward, gets its Vaults premiere, running at the sixth annual VAULT Festival from 31 January to 5 February 2018 only.
Can two men raised to fight ever learn to love? The macho world of boxing provides the backdrop for a brand new play from the award-winning co-writer of Away From Home, Rob Ward.
Gypsy Queen is the story of ‘Gorgeous’ George O’Connell: traveller, bare-knuckle fighter, hero to his people and Gypsy King. George leaves this life behind and enters the world of professional boxing, which puts him on a collision course with his roots, his identity and his greatest fear. In the opposite corner, gay boxer Dane ‘The Pain’ Samson, the young pretender and son of a boxing legend. But Dane is fighting his own battles and they will ultimately lead to a tragedy that neither man could predict.
Two men who find themselves, and each other, in the most unlikely of worlds. Gypsy Queen is an unconventional love story between two fighters who discover the greatest challenge lies outside the ring.
Rob Ward is joined onstage by John Askew, whois joining Gypsy Queen followinga successful UK tour of the Richard Bean play Harvest with New Perspectives Theatre Company. (With boxing experience from his youth, Askew should have no problem filling the gloves for this role!) This multi-role two-hander is helmed by Hope Theatre Company artistic director Adam Zane, with sound and lighting by Owen Rafferty and set design by Meriel Pym. It’s produced by Rob Ward, Hannah Ellis and Diana Atkins.
GYPSY QUEEN runs at VAULT Festival from Wednesday 31 January to Monday 5 February 2018, with performances nightly at 9.30pm and a 5pm matinee on Saturday 3 February. Tickets are priced £14.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
LGBTQ & boxing
Professional boxing has suffered a series of knocks on LGBT inclusion over the past two years, from the debate surrounding whether Tyson Fury’s homophobic and racist comments should have seen him taken off the 2015 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year shortlist, to Manny ‘Pac Man’ Pacquaio (former boxer, now politician in the Philippines) comparing homosexuality with bestiality. Most recently, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather used the slur ‘faggot’ frequently when attacking his rival Connor MacGregor.
— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) May 15, 2016
The subject of LGBTQ visibility and inclusivity in sport is always a hot topic for Wirral-born actor and writer Rob Ward whose previous award-winning one-man show Away From Home, co-written with Martin Jameson, was about the life of a rent boy in a relationship with a Premier League footballer. The show toured nationally and internationally between 2013 and 2016 and received two Manchester Theatre Awards (Best New Play and Best Fringe Production).
About the production & Hope Theatre Company
In 2017, Gypsy Queen toured the UK and Ireland, culminating in a three-week run at London’s King’s Head Theatre and a one-week run at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester in September 2017. Other tour stops visited included Oldham Coliseum, Cast in Doncaster, Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Unity Theatre in Liverpool, Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival and Brighton Fringe.
At the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe, Gypsy Queen was longlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and creator Rob Ward was named one of the British Council’s 2017 Emerging Artists. The List ranked Gypsy Queen the 39th best overall show at the Fringe in a field of 3,500.
Hope Theatre Company is a Manchester-based theatre company, which was founded in 2004 by Adam Zane, director of Gypsy Queen. The company aims to stage original, dynamic productions that entertain, educate, and empower. It has a particular interest in LGBTQ theatre and specialises in verbatim, discovering and recording people’s true stories to create theatre that challenges perceptions and changes attitudes. Previous productions have included The Laramie Project, the UK premiere of The Laramie Project – Ten Years Later at The Lowry, and Get Happy at London’s King’s Head Theatre.
The company has been touring secondary schools across the North West with anti-homophobia verbatim play Out/Loud and #BeMoreMartyn, based on interviews with friends of the late Martyn Hett, who was killed in last year’s Manchester Arena bombing. It returns this May for the first anniversary of the terrorist attack.