We got a fantastic reaction to our launch of Boxing Club Rules at Ludlow Amateur Boxing Club (LABC) in November 2018. There was real appreciation of how much more there is to boxing and boxing clubs - the health benefits, the social and community aspects - and how theatre, dance and boxing complement each other beautifully.
SB (LABC junior member)
It was good yeh. The bit I most liked was the fight on the bags.
AB (LABC coach)
It was good, very good. It was all good, I didn’t know what to expect but it was entertaining. It was better than I expected. Really good.
It was good; really good for the club. It’s lovely how it describes the club and how than runs all the way through, it’s really nice.
JB (LABC junior member)
In enjoyed it; it was really good. I liked all the stories behind it, really good.
The sparring was really good. I liked the choreographed dance section; dancing and boxing, it was fab. It was a really great thing for Rooftop to be doing.
Have you been doing some verbatim interviews? [Yes] You could tell that. It was great to have the cleaner explaining his role. So you basically covered all the community components that are needed to pull the club together. It’s a great idea to get people up here as well.
FH & PH
F: I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
P: The way you put it together, the whole point of the thing, the way you’ve done it artistically and funnily and everything you did was superb.
F: It was superb and the fact that it was based on the truth and how it all came about; what it brought over was the camaraderie here and if people just came through that door and saw what there was, they would be amazed. They really would. I think you did a fantastic job.
GD (LABC adult member)
I thought it was very good. It was a nice story being told and it was inspiring. It’s inspiring me – I’m already inspired but it’s inspired me in another way! It was good, I really liked it. I wish my son could get some of the concept I saw tonight. Did he come? [He came, yes, and enjoyed it]. The acting was good. It told a great story.
DM (LABC Chairman)
It was good, really good. I’m quite happy with my words being used; that’s what it’s all about. At the end of the day what Craig said it’s all about – it’s a way of life.
I loved it; such a totally different concept to anything I’ve seen before. It was brilliant. Takes me back a bit myself, being an amateur boxer years ago. It was so good and so true to life some of the stories, so similar to Kidderminster boxing club.
JB (LABC junior member)
I think it was actually really good. I didn’t expect it to be like this at all. It’s all set up really nicely with all the aspects of boxing. The club looks great. It went really well. My favourite bit was in the ring, all the action in the ring.
J (LABC adult member)
It was good, it worked well, it kept my six year old fully entertained all the way through. My favourite thing was the fact that it reflects the boxing club itself in terms of what it’s like for the community and the members who come here and what the training’s about, how accepting they are of all levels.
LH (PR partner)
It was lovely, really lovely. I found it really moving, really beautiful. It really summed up what the boxing club was about. I loved the structure, I thought the performances were amazing, I loved the whole thing with the ref and I loved the way you used the interviews. I loved the way you used the people who actually come here, used their words and made it into something that came to life.
I think as a model of how to do community theatre, it was brilliant; genuinely, you could apply this to other places, other places of community involvement: you could do it with the allotments, you could do it with lots of different places and I think that’s brilliant.
MG, BC & AB (Funding consultant and friends)
M: I thought it was fabulous; the choreography particularly spectacular, in boxing style.
B: Good stories, people obviously in the community and little bits in between to keep the flow of it. It was great.
A: Beautiful sequences left you wanting more; it was beautiful, lovely show.
[To MG: Worth the Arts Council money?] Absolutely, yes, and great to see something here in this venue in Ludlow, really unusual and really special.
I thought it was fantastic, it was humorous, witty and warm, it’s got that human warmth which is what boxing clubs are about, it’s not all about violence and you’ve got the message here very strong, really entertaining, I hope you sell loads of tickets.
R (LABC junior member)
It was really good - a lot better than I expected to be honest. I expected just a little performance, just a few chairs scattered about and not like all the lights and everything and the way it was set up was really good as well. When I heard my words being used, I just laughed because I didn’t think you’d put it in – it was called Boxing Club Rules and I thought you’d just go through the rules, so I was surprised and just laughed.
My favourite bit was just at the start when she punched the bag and he just fell over, that bit was funny, yeah really good.
I thought is was great, really really enjoyable, enlightening, a very entertaining evening, a real insight into a world frankly I know nothing about which I’m now quite intrigued by, and I think has a hell of a lot of positive things to give to the local community; great stuff. I loved the marvellous bits with the classical music was great and the beautiful choreography when the bandages were being put onto their hands, it was a really fascinating and lovely sequence.
I think the main thing is that it will attract different people through the door. There’s a lot of people out in the town who have a negative view of boxing and of this club, I think, and there’s probably an awful lot of reasons for that but it opens the club up to people who wouldn’t think about boxing without any added element to it, so bringing theatre into the boxing club will mean people with no interest will come in, see what the club is really like and get a really positive impression of it, and who knows may even sign up.
This theatre works in a boxing club; I’m not sure you could necessarily do Macbeth in here but this brilliant, imaginative devised piece works superbly here and it shows ultimately that boxing is theatre to a large degree – it’s people watching performers on a platform being entertained, so there’s not really that much difference.
SC & EC
S: I really loved the choreography, the boxing using the bags, I thought they made it really beautiful, the bandaging of the hands, just made it a beautiful thing. People think of boxing as an ugly thing and I thought it was lovely. I really liked the whole thing – imaginative; I liked the way you had the rules. It’s not something I’d given much thought to and I’d never been in here before and it’s nice to come in.
E: I agree, I really liked the choreography of the dancing around the pads and just the premise in general, very imaginative, I loved it.
S: It was great, I really enjoyed it, and it’s great because I’ve never been here before and it’s sort of changed my views about boxing, brilliant, which is what it’s all about.
WB (LABC trustee)
Brilliant, really good.
I was trying to resist sitting there thinking this is really just about a boxing club, but it did work; I was saying to this gentleman here before the performance started, he asked me me why I was here and I said I was not here for the boxing because I hate boxing, I loath it, and I think it’s a completely mad sport trying to knock someone else out.
But by the end of it, by the end of watching this I was thinking I quite fancy having a go! It has changed my thoughts on what boxing is about. I didn’t realise you could just come for the fitness aspect.
So coming from a drama background I loved all the different theatre forms in the piece: the music, the dancing – that, putting the wraps on, that was a stroke of genius, I just loved that so much. There was a lot of variety, it was really good, I really enjoyed it, very good performances.
KC & Mr C
K: It was absolutely brilliant, I really liked it. A lot of that stuff was taken from what people were saying. That kind of dialogue is really meaty and adds a lot of weight to it.
Mr C: It was very well devised and the great thing is that all the revelation and the presentation is true and you really wanted to know about it. You could see what was coming out of it – the footwork […] it demonstrated the pride and purpose.
K: I loved the way it revealed itself; it developed very nicely; I felt there was a real story you wanted to […] it was lovely the way the characters emerged, yeah it was great.
Mr C; I’m very disappointed there wasn’t a proper villain!
K: I wanted to get in the ring and start using my handbag; I’m disappointed there was no opportunity for that – audience participation! I’m glad we weren’t sitting in the front row – that’s the row of humiliation for Rooftop!
1) It was different from what I was imagining. I loved the involvement of the community and I loved the way the history is told. It is inspirational, completely inspirational, and I loved the small cast and I loved the interaction. I just thought it was brilliant and innovative and quite honestly living up to my expectation for the boys and what they can do, so there’s no limit to what else they can do.
2) It was absolutely amazing. I know Paul and Simon and I know what they can do and as always they have given me more than I thought they would do this time. It is absolutely inspirational. I loved the fact that the cast were fully into it, they weren’t just acting, they were part of it and it was telling the story of a community plan, a community thing that actually came to fruition; and I was part of the beginning of this, and to see it in action and to hear the story, and yes I will fight to keep this going.
I thought it was rather good and thought provoking, about what it is like, about how important it is to the community and how open it is. I didn’t even realise it is even here, so it is just an amazing resource, just round the corner so yeah fantastic and I really enjoyed it.
It’s almost like it’s a different kind of church…and it’s about dancing, definitely about dancing.
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20 January 2019
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09 November 2018
Boxing and theatre - a beautiful match
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19 December 2017