Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon chatted to the actor about bringing The Sweet Science of Bruising to Wilton’s Music Hall.
Hi Tom. What are you most looking forward to about being part of The Sweet Science of Bruising?
There are so many things to look forward to, but I suppose performing in such an amazing venue like Wilton’s Music Hall is a really exciting prospect – especially because the play lends itself brilliantly to that location. It’s the perfect theatre to tell this story. It’s also great to be working on the play itself, and to be a part of a female-led narrative that centres around a sport that has been generally perceived to be masculine.
For those who missed the show when it was at the Southwark Playhouse what can they expect from the production?
Well, I’m ashamed to say I missed it there too. So to be honest, I don’t know what it was like in comparison to what we have created in the rehearsal room. But it’s safe to say that it’s a story full of heart, passion and drive – wonderful writing from Joy Wilkinson and it’s a fabulous cast, in a beautiful venue! Shall I say it packs a punch? No, I won’t say that… That’s awful…
Was there anything in particular about the story that made you want to be part of this production? The writing is great, as I mentioned before – and it’s the second play I have done this year that is about women in sport. I have just finished a run in a play about cyclist Beryl Burton, and so the prospect of getting to tell another fantastic female-led story was exciting.
Could you tell me more about your character?
I play Paul Stokes. He’s a boxer from up north who’s desperately hoping to get a shot at being the national boxing champion. He believes that if he plays by the rules and proves himself, then he can win the title and provide for his family back home, as well as taking care of his adopted sister Polly. But there might be a bit more to their relationship than meets the eye…
How do you think that audiences can relate to the story in 2019?
There are obviously things in the play that are very much of the time in which it is set – but I think the struggles that each of the four main women encounter are still relevant today. Violence, abuse and sexualisation are still so present in society, albeit often in more subtle or invisible ways. But it’s still there, so I’m sure there will be a lot of people who can identify with each of our leading characters’ struggles.
What do you think audiences will take away from The Sweet Science of Bruising? It’s got everything really! Drama, humour, violence, and strong women battling against the odds. It’s theatrical and full of heart. I hope the audiences can take in the whole experience, including the amazing Wilton’s Music Hall, and have damn good night!
By Emma Clarendon
The Sweet Science of Bruising will play at the Wilton’s Music Hall from the 5th to the 29th June.