Following their West End debut earlier this year with the UK premiere of American Joel Drake Johnson’s Rasheeda Speaking, Troupe returns to London’s Southwark Playhouse this autumn with the world premiere of British playwright Joy Wilkinson’s new play about Victorian female boxers.
Troupe has announced the world premiere of Joy Wilkinson’s The Sweet Science of Bruising, which will be directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward, and will have a limited season at London’s 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…
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.
Joy Wilkinson is an award-winning writer working across theatre, film, television and radio. Her stage plays have been widely produced in the UK and internationally, and she has won prizes including Soho Theatre’s Verity Bargate Award and the International Student Playscript Competition. Her plays include Fair (Finborough Theatre, Trafalgar Studios and National Tour), Now is the Time (part of the Tricycle Theatre’s Olivier Award-nominated ‘Afghanistan’ season which toured the USA and was revived in 2017 by Teatro Elfo Puccini, Milan), Acting Leader (‘Women Power and Politics’ season, Tricycle Theatre) and Britain’s Best Recruiting Sergeant (Unicorn Theatre). She has been awarded two attachments at the National Theatre Studio and is published by Oberon Books and Nick Hern Books. For television, Wilkinson was a graduate of the first BBC Drama Writers Academy, and her screen credits include Casualty, Holby City, Doctors and Land Girls. She also wrote Nick Nickleby, a critically-acclaimed five-part modernisation of Nicholas Nickleby for BBC1. Wilkinson’s extensive work for BBC Radio 4 includes a five-part spin-off from the hit Danish drama Borgen as well as numerous adaptations and original plays.
Kirsty Patrick Ward directs. Her credits include Exactly Like You (VAULT Festival Spirit Award at Underbelly Edinburgh and The Vaults), Chef (Scotsman Fringe First Award at Underbelly Edinburgh and Soho Theatre), I’m Not That Kind of Guy (The Vaults and Paines Plough), Mary Louise (The Vaults), Evita (MT4Uth, Belfast), People Like Us (Pleasance London), Snow White (National Tour for The Old Vic), A Writer’s Response to ‘Chavs’ by Owen Jones (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith), Present Tense (Live Theatre), Brave New Worlds (Soho Theatre), Life Support (York Theatre Royal) and Old Vic New Voices: The 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic). Work as Associate Director includes The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (Criterion Theatre), Brideshead Revisited (English Touring Theatre and York Theatre Royal) and Young Pretender (Underbelly Edinburgh and National Tour). Work as Assistant Director includes Othello and King Lear (Shakespeare’s Globe), Our New Girl (Bush Theatre) and Bunny which won a Scotsman Fringe First Award (nabokov, Underbelly Edinburgh and National Tour).