Full casting – including Caroline Harker – has been announced for the world premiere of The Sweet Science of Bruising, Joy Wilkinson’s new play about Victorian female boxers which comes to London’s Southwark Playhouse next month care of Troupe.
The Sweet Science of Bruising, written by Joy Wilkinson and directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward, has a limited season at Southwark Playhouse from 3 to 27 October 2018, with a press night on 5 October.
“Place your bets, gents, and raise your glasses for the Lady Boxing Champion of the World.”
London, 1869. Four very different Victorian women are drawn into the dark underground world of female boxing by the eccentric Professor Sharp. Controlled by men and constrained by corsets, each finds an unexpected freedom in the boxing ring. As their lives begin to intertwine their journey takes us through grand drawing rooms, bustling theatres and rowdy Southwark pubs where the women fight inequality as well as each other. But with the final showdown approaching only one can become the Lady Boxing Champion of the World…
The four lady boxers are played by Sophie Bleasdale (Violet Hunter), Kemi-Bo Jacobs (Anna Lamb), Jessica Regan (Matilda ‘Matty’ Blackwell) and Fiona Skinner (Polly Stokes). They’re joined in the cast by Bruce Alexander (Professor Charlie Sharp), James Baxter (Paul Stokes), Joe Coen (Gabriel Lamb), Ashley Cook (Doctor James Bell), Alice Kerrigan (Emily) and Caroline Harker (Aunt George).
Based on historical research into 19th-century women’s boxing, The Sweet Science of Bruising is a fascinating new play by Joy Wilkinson (Verity Bargate Award winner). Featuring an ensemble cast and thrilling up-close boxing matches, this is an epic tale of passion, politics and pugilism.
The Sweet Science of Bruising has fight and movement direction by Alison de Burgh, design by Anna Reid, and sound design and original composition by Max Perryment.
The Sweet Science of Bruising runs 3 to 27 October 2018 at Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD. Performances are Mondays to Saturdays at 8pm, with Tuesday and Saturday matinees at 3.30pm. Tickets are priced £20 (concessions £16). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!
Bruce Alexander plays Professor Charlie Sharp. His theatre credits include Wild Honey, Life After Scandal(Hampstead Theatre), A View from Islington North (Arts Theatre), Accolade (St. James Theatre), A View from the Bridge (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres), Ciphers (Bush Theatre), The White House Murder Case, The Company Man, The Beggar’s Opera (Orange Tree Theatre), Plenty (Sheffield Theatres),Waste, The Tempest (Almeida Theatre), The Reporter, The History Boys, The Mandate (National Theatre), Pravda (Chichester Festival Theatre/Birmingham Rep), Carver (Arcola Theatre), Pericles (Lyric Hammersmith), King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe) and The Knickers (Bristol Old Vic). His television credits include Love and Marriage, Coming Home, Into the Storm, A Short Stay in Switzerland, The Trial of the King Killers, The Innocents, A Christmas Carol, Beyond Fear, Murder in Mind, Head Over Heels, Specials,Thatcher: The Final Days, Waterfront Beat and Tiny Revolutions; and for film, Between Two Women, Dead, Tomorrow Never Dies, Ladybird, Ladybird, Nostradamus, Century and The Long Good Friday.
James Baxter plays Paul Stokes. His theatre credits include Petrification (UK tour), Silk Road (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Old Vic New Voices: The 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic), Present Tense, Jump!, Swansong(Live Theatre), The Christmas Office Party (Hull Truck Theatre), Scarborough (Live Theatre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Pink Floyd’s The Wall (The Customs House, South Shields) and Fine Fine Fine (Gala Theatre, Durham). His television credits as series regular include Leroy in Still Open All Hours and Jake Doland in Emmerdale. Other television credits include Harriet’s Army, Love Life and Joe Maddison’s War.
Sophie Bleasdale plays Violet Hunter. Her theatre credits include A Crazy Little Thing Called Love (RADA Festival), Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Hampstead Theatre/Theatre Royal Haymarket), Mock Tudor (Pleasance London/Latitude Festival/Old Red Lion Theatre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Under the Whaleback (Royal Court Theatre) and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Harold Pinter Theatre). Her television credits include Close to the Enemy and Six Wives with Lucy Worsley.
Joe Coen plays Gabriel Lamb. His theatre credits include A Dark Night in Dalston (Park Theatre), The Mighty Walzer, Edward II (Royal Exchange Theatre), The Rubenstein Kiss (Nottingham Playhouse/Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), Bad Jews (Theatre Royal Bath/St. James Theatre/Arts Theatre), The Black Diamond (Punchdrunk) and Birdsong (Comedy Theatre). His television credits include The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies; and for film, Son of God and City Rats.
Ashley Cook plays Doctor James Bell. His theatre credits include The Cardinal (Southwark Playhouse), Flowering Cherry and F***ing Men (Finborough Theatre), Absent Friends, The Importance of Being Earnest (UK tour), The White Carnation (Finborough Theatre/Jermyn Street Theatre), The Art of Concealment, How to Cook a Country (Riverside Studios), The Mousetrap (St. Martin’s Theatre), A Doll’s House, The Importance of Being Earnest (New Theatre Royal Lincoln), The Bootmaker’s Daughter(Brighton Festival), Stonewall (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/The Drill Hall), Romeo and Juliet (Derby Playhouse), Love and Understanding (Battersea Arts Centre) and King Lear (The Old Vic/UK tour). His television credits include Patrick Hamilton: Words, Whisky and Women; and for film, Llar and A Mind of Her Own.
Caroline Harker plays Aunt George. Her theatre credits include The Chalk Garden, Entertaining Angels (Chichester Festival Theatre), Sean Hughes’ Blank Book (Soho Theatre), Blithe Spirit (York Theatre Royal),Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Village Bike (Sheffield Theatres), Tusk Tusk, The Strip, The Editing Process (Royal Court Theatre), All Mouth (Menier Chocolate Factory), Present Laughter(Theatre Royal Bath), Battle Royal (National Theatre), Falling (Hampstead Theatre), Things We Do For Love (Duchess Theatre), A Mongrel’s Heart (Royal Lyceum Theatre) and Hidden Laughter (Vaudeville Theatre). Her television credits include The Commander: The Devil You Know, The Man Who Lost His Head, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Hans Christian Andersen: My Life as a Fairy Tale, I Saw You, Armadillo,Keeping Mum, Holding On, Harry Enfield and Chums, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders,Honey for Tea, Middlemarch, Riders and Growing Rich; and for film, Lady Godiva: Back in the Saddle and The Madness of King George.
Kemi-Bo Jacobs plays Anna Lamb. Her theatre credits include Betrayal (Derby Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Salisbury Playhouse) and All My Sons (Royal Exchange Theatre). Her television credits include McMafia, Delicious, Thirteen, The Honourable Woman; and for film, London Has Fallen.
Jessica Regan plays Matilda ‘Matty’ Blackwell. Her theatre credits include Long Day’s Journey Into Night(Bristol Old Vic/Wyndham’s Theatre/Brooklyn Academy of Music/Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts), Henry V (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Liolà, The Cherry Orchard, The Kitchen, Blood and Gifts(National Theatre), Coalition (Pleasance, London/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), All That Fall (Jermyn Street Theatre/59E59 Theaters, New York), Stars in the Morning Sky (Belgrade Theatre), The Flags (Liverpool’s Royal Court), and The Yellow Wallpaper and Striking Distance (Granary Theatre). She was series regular Dr Niamh Donoghue in Doctors. Other television credits include Nowhere Fast, Halloween Comedy Shorts: It Should Have Been Me, Ill Behaviour, Execution, No Signal and Ladies and Gentlemen.
Fiona Skinner plays Polly Stokes. Her theatre credits include The Dark Room, My Imaginary Friend Patrick Stewart (Theatre503), The Full Monty (UK tour), Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse), Old Vic New Voices: The 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic), Brave New Worlds (Soho Theatre), ‘Ave It (The Old Vic Tunnels) and People Like Us (Vineyard Theatre, New York). Her television credits include Taboo and Our Girl; and for film, A Royal Night Out.