THEATRE – Bitch Boxer – Goodwood Institute – 4K

Bitch-Boxer-Poster_500wBy Peter Maddern

It is not with controversy to suggest that female boxing is not the most genteel of sports, yet equal opportunity saw it admitted to the list of events at the 2012 London Olympics. Bitch Boxer is about Chloe (Jordan Cowan) a teenage girl from nowhere in particular in England for whom boxing is her life; a pursuit of excellence, a passion, a connection with those who are important to her.

When the play opens Chloe is a fight away from qualifying for the Olympics but before she dons the gloves for that playwright Charlotte Josephine takes us to her past and forward again to the present. Its a moving back story to all that will go into each and every punch over the four rounds when everything is seemingly on the line, in particular the influences of her father and boyfriend who are both simultaneously present and absent when the fight gets desperate.

Someone Like U Productions has delivered an excellent rendition of this previous Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit. Jordan Cowan is a compelling pugilist and young girl in equal portions; pretty, athletic, relaxed in her delivery yet fully possessed by the story of her character. I don’t know whether her cockney accent was affected for the performance but it sure had me taken in.

The stage is hers and hers alone for the hour but she is greatly aided by some skilful direction by David Mealor, who works her into our hearts, and inspired lighting by Chris Petridis (and box builder Rowan Lee) who uses just four box lights to take us both to the brightness of the arena’s centre ring and the solitude of the change rooms beneath it.

This is a classy production of a moving story delivered with great confidence and poise by a talented young actor.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

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