When Leon and Troy are caught breaking in to a north London boxing gym, the owner puts the aspiring black boxers to work rather than turning them over to the police. When race riots erupt in the neighborhood, a split-second betrayal changes both boys’ lives. From the north London streets to the World Championship, the two former friends must ultimately step into the ring and face who they’ve become—champions or sell outs?
Kinetic, comedic, and emotionally bruising, Williams’s masterwork blasts open the experience of being young, black, and ambitious in 1980s London.
Studio’s Subscription Season is the core of our programming, offering an uncommonly rich repertoire of provocative contemporary writing from around the world and inventive stagings of contemporary classics.
Packs a mighty wallop...riveting.
Compelling, thought-provoking, not-to-be-missed.
Roy Williams is the son of Jamaican immigrants and grew up in London during the 1980s. He was inspired to write Sucker Punch when he realized how little today’s teens know about the violent clashes between minority youth and police throughout the ’80s. “Thatcher’s government had a huge influence on me and my friends growing up,” Williams says. “Not just her policies or the policing, but the spirit of the time—look out for number one—which discarded and dismissed people. That’s what I tried to capture in the play.”Read More
Sucker Punch follows black British teens Leon and Troy from cleaning a South London boxing gym to a final faceoff in the ring as former friends in the biggest grudge match of their lives. Grudge matches are far from new in boxing—in fact, promoters depend on the story of the fight outside the ring to raise excitement and pull ratings.Read More