Premiere of White Feather Boxer play

White Feather Boxer at Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne
White Feather Boxer at Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne

New writing at the Devonshire Park Theatre continues this season with the latest play from Siobhán Nicholas entitled White Feather Boxer; this world premiere from Take the Space will be performed on May 27/28.

Set in Bethnal Green this is a story about boxing, bravest of sports, and the courage of conscientious objectors of WW1. It’s April 1967: the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Muhammad Ali, defies the US Military by refusing to fight in Vietnam. Meanwhile in a shabby flat, an elderly boxing trainer, hears the news and recalls his own dilemmas of WW1, when conscription sent pacifists to prison or the firing squad; when he, at the peak of his boxing career and prowess, made a choice. Writer Siobhán Nicholas explains: “I wanted to explore – and honour – the psyche of the boxer and also capture the culture of the ring; I had a hunch that focusing on a retired boxer who has a very personal association with conscientious objection could allow me to come close to defining the qualities of bravery and duty.” The white feather became a symbol of cowardice for any man who didn’t sign up to join the war effort. Now 100 years on from this first momentous shift in war policy Siobhán Nicholas points a spotlight on this important issue of conscription, contentious objectors and cruelty. Take the Space’s previous productions include: Stella, Sam & I and Hanging Hooke. Performances at 7.45pm, and Saturday 2.30pm matinee, tickets £13.50; book on 01323 412000 or www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk