About Bitch Boxer

Sunday 24th February 2013

Charlotte Josephine in Bitch Boxer. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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A couple of days ago, I was at the Soho Theatre. In one hot night I saw two young playwrights, Charlotte Josephine and Luke Barnes, both deliver high-energy monologues — first seen in Edinburgh last year — which involve sport as well as growing up. In Bitch Boxer, Chloe Jackson is a 21-year-old fighter who needs to win one more fight to qualify for Team GB at the London Olympics. She took up the sport at age 11 when her mum walked out on her adored Dad, but can she make it without his guidance? This excellent one-woman show, written and performed by Charlotte Josephine for Snuff Box theatre company, has echoes of Roy Williams’s Sucker Punch and Bryony Lavery’s Beautiful Burnout, but radiates a youthful charm all of its own. Although it’s a monologue it puts a whole society on stage. Josephine has trained hard and comes across as tough and gutsy, but she is also struggling to hide her character Chloe’s vulnerability. The writing weaves neatly between anger and humour, with moments of poetic imagery bursting out into this coming-of-age story, which is well grounded in emotional reality. As a girl growing to maturity in a very male environment, Chloe is a forthright and excitable person whose insights into gender and psychology are instantly appealing. This is a story of physical pain and emotional damage, but it also shows how individual courage can change your world.

© Aleks Sierz

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