White Feather Boxer

White Feather Boxer, the story of a Quaker who was also a Boxer, presented by Take the Space.
Written and directed by Siobhán Nicholas
Performed by Chris Barnes and Julia Masli.
Associates: Michael Bogdanov and David Fielder.
Dramaturg: Chris Hannan

It’s April 1967: in a shabby East End boxing gym, elderly trainer, Jimmy listens to the news: the world’s heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali refuses to fight in Vietnam.

Conchie or contender? It’s a story Jimmy knows all too well. Back during WW1, he used to be a contender but with Conscription, Conscientious Objectors went to prison or the firing squad. The Quaker – Boxer made his choice but he still can’t face those demons from the past and now there’s Jo, an angry demon from the present! Women Boxing? Is that even legal?

This new play from Take the Space is about the most courageous of movements and the bravest of sports: Jimmy is an ex Champion Boxer and a conscientious objector who stood up for peace through two world wars and even at seventy, still sees the “Good” in people, striving to teach dignity, discipline and self respect to any young person who visits his gym.

“Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death” Wilfred Owen, First World War Poet

“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same  reputation and  prestige that the warrior does today” John F Kennedy


Research Support for this play came from Slough and Windsor Quaker Meeting, Jordans Quakers, Brighton Ex Boxers Association and Boxing Evolution

The poster image for White Feather Boxer is actually a photo from the 1970’s of Chris Barnes {who plays Jimmy } in  training for “Johnny Boxer” in which he starred at Leicester Phoenix Theatre. The young director of that play, Michael Bogdanov {1938 to 2017} went on to win numerous awards, gaining national and international acclaim. In February 2017, Michael  mentored the writer’s final draft of White Feather Boxer in which his old friend was to play the lead.

Feb 18
Time: 7.45pm
Venue: Royal
Age: TBC
Duration: Approx. 1 hours 20 minutes