wed 24/07/2019

Sucker Punch, Royal Court Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Sucker Punch, Royal Court Theatre

Sucker Punch, Royal Court Theatre

Roy Williams's latest play, set in the 1980s, is a punchy drama about boxing and racism

Roy Williams takes us into the ring in a Thatcher-era Raging BullChris Nash

The poster for Sucker Punch, Roy Williams's ambitious new play about boxing and race during the schism-prone age of Margaret Thatcher, promises a sort of black British Raging Bull: There in one graphic image are the blood and sweat, the bravado and the pain, of a sport that for self-evident reasons makes it to the stage relatively rarely. How do you set actors' juices flowing eight times a week (and risk their jawbones dislocating) in a way that the cinema can manage with comparative ease? One answer arrived at by the director Sacha Wares is to ramp up the atmosphere, in conjunction with a designer, Miriam Buether, who evidently never met a space that she hasn't wanted in some way or other to transform.

"You'll be just another worthless black man like me," he says in one of many remarks that strike as mercilessly as any body blow

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