White Feather Boxer

White Feather Boxer

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  • Submitted By: Take the Space

We have now completed the first stage of development for our play about Boxing and Pacifism. On Wednesday 23rd July we met the Boxers in the beautiful Long Barn at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts and then on the following Wednesday  – we met the Pacifists, the local Quaker groups, some of whom had seen STELLA, our play about women astronomers. The purpose for both meetings was to collect stories and memories from these supposedly very different Maidenhead communities. We had been ridiculously delighted when Jane Corry the Artistic Director at Norden Farm mentioned that years ago the local farming communities used to bring in the harvest to the Long Barn and I loved the synchronicity of how – here we were, a small theatre company of the C21st – harvesting in the Long Barn for another kind of nourishment. Nice as well that our final “harvesting of stories” on the 31st July fell on the eve of Lughnasa, one of the four ancient Gaelic Festivals ….which yes ….marked the beginning of the Harvest!

It all began in early Spring, when Take the Space made contact with Matt Flavell from Boxing Evolution. I had stumbled across his website in February and was intrigued by the mission statement and his biography. We met him and watched training sessions at his gym. He then led our evening with the boxers on Wednesday 23rd July with an amazing presentation – here it is:

Matt is now one of our mentors on the play..in between working with young offenders this Autumn!  Essentially he believes that “Boxing” can save people {it certainly saved him}  And in the same way that I have seen Theatre ignite an imagination and change a life for ever – I too believe that this noble and very tough art of Boxing can transform a person’s psyche as well.

I also believe that the self discipline, passion and bravery of the boxer is akin to those qualities which enabled the Conscientious Objectors of World War One to withstand such cruelty and suffering.

One last thing to mention: amongst the sad and horrific, awe – inspiring and heartening stories we collected during our evening with the Quakers – there was for me a small precious jewel: a piano teacher had come with her two daughters to tell us about her father who had been a…..Quaker and a Boxer! He exists! In the records and not just in my head!! that old boxing trainer, a champion himself in his day, sitting in his East End bedsit, remembering what it was like to be a pacifist during the First World War……

 

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