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 the 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 Facotry 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.