Lime Review - Theatre
Following the success of Cush Jumbo’s Josephine and I the Bush Theatre once again brings to life the contemporary legacy of an American cultural icon.
Jay ‘The Sport’ Jackson dreams of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But it’s 1905 and, in the racially segregated world of boxing, his chances are as good as knocked out.
When a boxing promoter hatches a plan for the ‘Fight of the Century’, The Sport might land a place in the ring with the reigning white heavyweight champion, but at what cost? It’s not just a retired champ he’s facing, it’s ‘The Great White Hope’. In daring to realise his dream, is Jay responsible for putting African American lives in the danger zone?
Told in six rounds and set in a boxing ring, The Royale is inspired by the often overlooked story of Jack Johnson, a boxer who – at the height of the Jim Crow era – became the most famous and the most notorious black man on Earth.
“Ain’t about bein’ no Heavyweight Champion of the White World.
It’s about bein’ Champion, period.”
Marco Ramirez is an award-winning American playwright who is currently a writer on staff for FX’s most successful running television series, Sons of Anarchy, and has also written on Da Vinci’s Demons and Netflix’s hit show, Orange is the New Black.
This UK premiere is directed by Bush Theatre Artistic Director Madani Younis and stars Nicholas Pinnock (Fortitude, Sky Atlantic) as Jay ‘The Sport’ Jackson, alongside Frances Ashman and Clint Dyer (both stars of Perseverance Drive, Bush Theatre), Gershwyn Eustache Jnr (Home, Royal National Theatre) and Ewan Stewart (Jumpy, Royal Court).
Supported by MA Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre London at Central Saint Martins.
Local Hero Project supported by Hammersmith United Charities.
Takeaway, Theatre Royal Stratford East
Ma Raineys Black Bottom
Respect La Diva
Staying Power at Black Cultural Archives
100 Black Men of London