In 2017-2018 we are working with a range of artists on a variety of touring and place-based commissions across the UK; we’re also working with several artists to scale-up projects via R&D and through ongoing creative mentoring and learning.
Tom Green’s project is a Counterpoints Arts’ commission and is based around his new play about the black American boxer, Tom Molineaux, who came to the UK in 1810 as a freed slave and ended up fighting for a national title in front of 20,000 people.
Molineaux’s battle against prejudice and poverty is an archetypal boxing story. The sport has always been a route to success and self-expression for the most marginalised people around the world, including migrants and refugees.
Tom’s project connects boxing clubs and theatres in areas of high migration: Blackburn & Darwen, Gravesend, Wandsworth and South East London. Working with Action Factory in Blackburn & Darwen and other partners in each location, he is running creative sessions with boxers from diverse backgrounds, refugee groups and schools – helping them respond to Tom Molineaux’s experiences and to express their own feelings about the sport and the communities they live in.
Boxing and theatre have much in common, but the two worlds rarely intersect. This project is about bringing them together – taking theatre into boxing clubs and bringing boxers into the theatre.
Some of the reviews:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “A beautiful story, perfectly written and featuring two fine actors on the top of their game. You will not have to be a sports fan to appreciate this, just a lover of humanity.” http://www.westendwilma.com/review-tom-molineaux-jack-studio/
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Gritty, intense and powerfully told.” stagereview.co.uk/theatre-review/tom-molineaux-review/
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This play coincides with the one-year anniversary this month of the death of the boxer of Muhammed Ali. Perhaps it is no coincidence at all, as both boxers had a long-lasting effect on the profession in ways they neither dreamt of or considered.” https://breaking-the-fourth-wall.com/2017/06/02/tom-molineaux-brockley-jack-studio-theatre-review/
“Above all, the most impressive aspect of the play is it that places Egan and Molineaux’s humanity at centre stage – allowing us to feel we have shared 75 minutes or so with two of the most important yet flawed individuals from arguably British boxing’s most historically significant era.”
“An incredible true story that is well written and well performed. A moment of history that is worth a watch.” everything-theatre.co.uk/2017/05/tom-molineaux-jack-studio-theatre-review.html
Directed by Kate Bannister. Starting Nathan Medina and Brendan O’Rourke.