Cathy Tyson, BAFTA and Golden Globes Award-nominated actress, and winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, will perform alongside David Schaal (The Inbetweeners Movie; The Office, BBC) and Libby Liburd in her raucously visceral production of Fighter. Inspired by the pioneering British female boxers who fought for their right to fight, Fighter combines theatre and live boxing to leave you on the edge of your ringside seat!
Directed by Julie Addy, Fighter will feature genuine young boxers selected from Fight for Peace’s Newham Academy. To re-create an authentic boxing gym environment, these young boxers will practice boxing training drills onstage throughout the show. Having fought in the ring herself, writer and performer Liburd brings her own experiences to the piece to demonstrate how both arts and sports empower women and young people.
Celebrating women’s resourcefulness and courage, this dynamic show follows the story of single mum and fighter, Lee, who is used to fighting the world alone. With no one in her corner, she’s down but not out – yet. When she steps into Tommy’s Gym, everything changes. Plunged into the world of boxing, Lee’s fight really begins.
Exploring ideas around overcoming adversity, Fighter capitalises on the Olympic legacy of ‘firsts’ whereby women were only allowed to fight competitively in boxing bouts for the first time in 2012 while drawing on the legacy of the professional female boxers of the late 90s who faced discrimination, sexism and battled court cases to be allowed to fight. Fighter questions perceptions of masculinity and femininity – most explicitly it challenges the perception of boxing as a violent sport ‘against womankind’ and ‘not for a mother’.
Fighter is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It is produced with support from Stratford Circus Arts Centre and Fight for Peace. Additional funders are The Lake House Charitable Foundation and Arts Award Access Fund.
Fighter is at Stratford Circus Arts Centre 25th – 27th April 2019.