Take the Space is working with Norden Farm Centre for the Arts and its community in order to develop ideas for a first draft of White Feather Boxer.
It’s 1967 and the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Cassius Clay, defies the US Military, refusing to be conscripted into Vietnam. Meanwhile, in a shabby Bethnal Green flat, an elderly trainer recalls the events of 1914, when he, as a young boxer “with the heart of a lion” at the peak of his physical and mental prowess, had also refused to fight for his country.
With this starting point, Take the Space want to explore the psyche of the boxer and that ultimate discipline – the “subordination of self”; also to honour the skill and capture the theatricality of the ring. Barry McGuigan, when asked why he boxed, replied “ I can’t be a poet. I can’t tell stories” but maybe he did precisely that. For Take the Space, boxing matches are stories without words, high dramas with improvised dialogue.
To collect those stories, Take the Space will talk to boxers and also to ….Quakers. Norden Farm has presented three of Take the Space’s productions and will be hosting these ‘story gatherings’. Take the Space’s last show, Stella, established contact with Norden Farm’s local Quaker group and if this project builds on that while also beginning a new relationship with Boxing Evolution in Maidenhead.