Take the Space (Touring Theatre Company)

This tiny company punches way above its weight – see them and experience meticulously researched theatre that stimulates, entertains and relies on skill and imagination
— The Public Review
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Take the Space presents White Feather Boxer a new play by Siobhán Nicholas

Performed by Chris Barnes and Polly Jordan

Marking the centenary of the notorious “Conscription” Act in 1916, Take the Space have a brand new play about Boxing - “the bravest of sports” - and the courage of the Conscientious Objectors of World WW1

Background to the play

During our research and development period, we talked to Quakers and Boxers; we hosted debates about Pugilism and Pacifism at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts and also at The Old Market in Hove. Then on Thursday 29th October 2015, we presented our first performed reading also at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts. 

The Story

It’s April 1967: in a small boxing gym off the Bethnal Green Road, an elderly trainer listens to the news: Muhammad Ali is refusing to fight in Vietnam; the heavyweight champion of the world has defied the US Military!  Jimmy reflects on the choice he himself made during WW1, when Conscription sent Pacifists to prison or the firing squad.  Back then in 1916, he was at the peak of his boxing career and physical prowess. 

But can Jimmy still be a contender and face the demons from his past? And does he have the strength or even the patience to confront the wild new demon from his present, an angry young woman who desperately needs his help?  

What people have said about White Feather Boxer

Jane Corry, artistic director of Norden Farm, who hosted the performed reading of White Feather Boxer wrote

"A powerful piece of new writing from the super talented Siobhán Nicholas and a magnificent cast in the form of Chris Barnes and Polly Jordan.  Ostensibly about boxing, the work drew me in and held me close as complex human relationships were explored."

We are delighted now to have our arts council award for the production and tour.  The play opens on May 27th 2016 at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne and tours through June.

War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today” John F Kennedy
— John F Kennedy
White Feather Boxer show poster
I ain’t never liked violence”
— Sugar Ray Robinson, Former Middleweight Champion Of The World
White Feather Boxer by Siobhan Nicholas
Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death
— Wilfred Owen, First World War Poet

White Feather Boxer 2016 has played at ...

Devonshire Park Theatre
Compton St, Eastbourne, BN21 4BP

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts
Altwood Rd, Maidenhead, SL6 4PF  

The Mill Studio at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
Millbrook, Surrey GU1 3UX

TOM - The Old Market
11a Upper Market Street, BN3 1AS

Rich Mix
35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA