I am a huge fan of theater. Throughout school I always did drama or performing arts and going to see the shows as part of our “research”. So when I was given the opportunity to go along to the press night of The Royal at Tabernacle in Notting Hill, I jumped at the chance.
When reading about the play, its not something I would usually book myself. The story, which is loosely based on the real-life story of Jack Johnson, is about Jay ‘The Sport’ Jackson – the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world. But it’s 1905 and, in the racially segregated world of boxing, his chances are pretty slim. As the play develops Jay is faced with a moral dilemma of choosing what he believes to be the right decision and listening to the wise words of his older sister, explaining his actions have a wider effect on the world around him, that others might not be ready for.
Now I’m not someone that knows much about boxing or would usually take a large interest in it, but this play was AMAZING, and I really don’t say that lightly. I would genuinely even go as far as to say its one of the best plays I’ve seen in a long time. The minimal cast and intimate, simplistic set makes the acting and story line even more powerful and moving.
The director, Madani Younis, used repetition, mirroring and brilliant timing to make the fight scenes even more hard hitting (excuse the pun) while also making them elegant and flow beautifully. I can honestly say that looking around the theater at the end of the show, everyone was on the edge of their seats. It was stunningly put together, with some incredible acting from the small but powerful cast.
I can totally see how the show was a sell out when it first run back in the spring, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if it sells out again. It’s only running ’till the 26th November so make sure you book quickly. Tickets are also insanely reasonable from only £15, so you really can’t go wrong. And with the theater being so intimate, your guaranteed to have a great view regardless of where your sat. So if there’s one play you go and see this year, make sure its this one.