The Sweet Science of Bruising Review

Southwark Playhouse – until 27 October 2018

Reviewed by Elizabeth J Smith


The tale of four woman in Victorian England trying to make life better for themselves and all women, present and future.

All four woman are from very different back grounds and each in some way are controlled by men. The aspiring nurse, (Sophie Bleasdale), who wants to study to be a doctor and right many injustices she see’s other women endure.

The abused middle class house wife, (Kemi-Bo Jacobs), who’s husband’s defects become the controls she can not escape but have fatal impact on her life.

The poor immigrant Irish girl Jessica Regan) who despite being intelligent enough to work at a news paper, is paid so poorly she has to turn to prostitution to help support herself.

The fiesty northern lass, (Fiona Skinner), who even, as an abandoned new born has had to fight for every breath she takes.

All want to prove themselves bigger than just the stereo typical woman.

All want to achieve greatness and boxing gives them the opportunity.

Based on historical facts, Joy Wilkinson, weaves a tremendous tale of
passion, politics and pugilism.

The story moves quickly and effortlessly from one scene to another with the
voice of the boxing impresario Professor Charlie Sharp (Bruce Alexander) taking you on a journey of discovery of how these four women’s lives entwine.

The acting was superb from every character, the choreography of the boxing matches thrilling, the costumes fitting of the time and the set intimate.

This production holds your attention and draws you in. You care for the characters, even some of the men.

Brilliant tale, well told, better than any night on the sofa.