Roy Williams’ Sucker Punch is to embark on its first major tour across England from March – June 2023 as part of theatre network Theatre Nation Partnerships made up of theatres and creative organisations across the country and the National Theatre.
Sucker Punch will open at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 30 March 2023 before embarking on a national tour of New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Curve Theatre Leicester, The Lowry Salford, Key Theatre Peterborough, Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple, Theatre Royal Wakefield, Cast Doncaster, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and The Fire Station Sunderland.
Two best mates, Leon and Troy, have spent their youth growing up in a boxing gym, figuring out a place in the world, vying for the approval of Charlie, their trainer. Soon Leon and Becky, Charlie’s daughter, are trying to keep a big secret. In a ruthless world. But there can only be one winner, and it’s time everyone stepped into the ring to face up to who they really are…
This tender, bruising and funny play by leading British playwright Roy Williams, brilliantly explores being young and black in the 80s. Winning the Alfred Fagon Award, The Writers Guild Award for Best Play and nominated for an Olivier for Best New Play, Sucker Punch first opened in a sell-out production at London’s Royal Court in 2010, launching BAFTA and Academy Award winner Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther) onto the world stage.
Transforming the stage into a boxing ring, this revival of Sucker Punch is set to be a thrillingly staged spectacle of blood, sweat and tears with an electrifying soundtrack.
‘Packs a knockout punch’ The Guardian
Sucker Punch cast includes Christian Alifoe (Man vs Bee, Netflix); Shem Hamilton (One Way Out, Theatre Peckham); John Rogers makes his professional theatre debut in Sucker Punch, Wayne Rollins (Nine Night, Leeds Playhouse); Liam Smith (The Mirror and the Light, Gielgud Theatre); Ray Strasser-King (Decrypted, Amazon Prime) and Poppy Winter makes her professional theatre debut in Sucker Punch.
Sucker Punch will be directed by Nathan Powell. Designed by Sandra Falase. Lighting Designer Joshie Harriette. Sound Designer Duramaney Kamara. Movement Director Asha Jennings-Grant. Costume Supervisor Malena Arcucci. Boxing Coach Gary Cooke. Fight Director Enric Ortuño. Casting Director Christopher Worrall. Wellness Coach Michelle Richards. Assistant Director Tosin Alabi.
Nathan Powell said, “It’s such a brilliant piece. I think Roy is amazing at telling really detailed, intricate, big and vast stories for everyone in the audience. I’m really excited to take this piece of work on tour around the country, working with this fantastic network of theatres. I hope that audiences all over the country will go away having interesting conversations with the people that they came with about what it means to be Black in Britain. I don’t want to answer questions for anyone, I actually just want to encourage talking and people to start a conversation. That’s all I can ask for and that’s all I hope for.”
Roy Williams said, “I’m so happy that Sucker Punch is getting another bout in the ring and that so many people throughout the country will get the chance to see it on this tour.”
Kate Varah, Executive Director of the National Theatre said, “Theatre Nation Partnerships is our national network with local impacts and we’re delighted that audiences from Sunderland to North Devon will get to enjoy the thrill of Sucker Punch. Working in partnership with cultural organisations across the country is key to what makes the National Theatre truly national, and will enable us to reach 500,000 people in priority areas across the next three years. This revival of Roy’s play began with a highly physical week of research and development at the NT Studio via our Generate programme, which aims to develop work that’s destined for stages outside the capital. With Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch at the helm, we can’t wait for audiences across England to step into the ring.”
Mathew Russell, Executive Director of Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch said; “I am immensely proud that Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch are producing this landmark revival of such an acclaimed play alongside the venues in the Theatre Nation Partnerships. This is the first of three national tours we will produce as a network to bring high quality drama to areas up and down the country.”
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