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Sucker Delays Opening to Avoid World Cup Clash

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The Royal Court has postponed the world premiere of Sucker Punch, Roy Williams’ new play about amateur boxing, to avoid a clash with another major sporting fixture: the football World Cup.

The play, for which the Court’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs will be reconfigured as a boxing ring, was due to open on Friday 18 June 2010 (previews from 11 June) – also the evening of England’s second match, against Algeria, in the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa. As a result, Sucker Punch will now have its press night on Saturday 19 June instead and continues until 24 July as scheduled.

The Royal Court has today issued a press statement explaining: “Due to the sporting nature of Sucker Punch, we have made the decision to reschedule the press night, so both sporting events can take centre stage.”

Obviously a sports fan himself, in addition to Sucker Punch, author Roy Williams’ previous credits include Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, set on the day of the 2000 World Cup qualifier between England and Germany, the last match in the old Wembley Stadium, and There’s Only One Wayne Matthews, about a young boy battling racism to become the first black footballer to make the England squad in 1979.

Sucker Punch looks back on “what it was like to be young and black in the 1980s” through the prism of amateur boxing. In the red corner is Leon Davidson – black British champ or Uncle Tom? In the blue corner: Troy Augustus – American powerhouse or naïve cash cow? It’s directed by Sacha Wares and stars young “actors-turned-boxers” Daniel Kaluuya and Anthony Welsh, who’ve been training under the tutelage of former British boxer and European champ Errol Christie.


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