Witness 1980s Britain, struggling in the aftermath of an economic crisis and divergent black politics. An Olivier nominated play by one of the most prolific playwrights from Britain, Roy Williams, Sucker Punch literally and figuratively highlights the plight of black men fighting a system designed for them to fail.
Why Watch Sucker Punch
Written by renowned British playwright, Roy Williams, Sucker Punch examines Britain in the early 1980s and how the system was determined to see young black men fail. The play was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play following its premiere and won the Alfred Fagon Award in 2010.
Williams has numerous well-known staged works, that include Sing Yer Heart Out, Clubland, Fallout, Starstruck, and Baby Girl. He is undoubtedly the heavyweight champion of black playwrights in Britain, and the world of boxing acts as a metaphor to the cruel outside world of Britain in the 80s. His use of the boxing drama to illuminate tensions outside was what won him critical acclaim during the premiere of the play.
Roy Alexander Weise brilliantly captures the raw emotion and electrifying energy of the production. The fight sequences are well-choreographed, the set design is authentic, and the lighting design is stellar. In particular, manipulating the lighting to give the audience an idea of how it feels to be punched, combined with the feeling of being seated in run-down boxing makes one feel as if they are right in on the action. At the end of the performance, there is no doubt that the audience will begin to understand the appeal of the gruelling sport.
It is the year 1981 in South London. Troy and Leon are best friends who are trying to find their place in the world. With unemployment and racial discrimination at a record high, the two friends struggle to find purpose. One day, they find Charlie’s gym which trains people in the art of professional boxing. Enamoured with the sport, they decide to give it a try and begin to train in boxing. The duo finds themselves in love with the ruthless sport, and their white trainer, Charlie sees incredible potential in them.
Soon, however, Troy rebels and he is forced to leave the. He decides to move to America in search of better boxing opportunities. Will Troy and Leon continue to remain good friends despite the distance? Will fate bring them back together once more, albeit inside a boxing ring? Will the simmering racial tensions throw a wrench in Leon’s relationship with his trainer?
Fans of Political and Social Dramas | Lovers of Sport Dramas
Know Before You Go
- Photo and video recording are not allowed during the show.
- The production contains strong language and violence.
The show is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes long without an interval.
Recommended for ages 14 and up.
The Theatre Royal Stratford East has a seating capacity of 465 across 3 sections.
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.
All West End show tickets are non-refundable.
Your booking confirmation will be sent via email. Please display the ticket on your mobile phone with a valid photo ID at the Box Office of the theatre.