A new play based on the extraordinary true story of the great black American bare-knuckle fighter.
17-18 May: Wandsworth Fringe, Putney
19 May: Library Theatre, Darwen
23 May: Woodville Theatre, Gravesend
24-27 May & 31 May-3 June: Jack Studio Theatre, London SE4
30 May: GLYPT, London SE18
Born a slave, Tom Molineaux boxes his way to freedom. In 1810 he arrives in London where his flamboyant style wins him fame and he befriends prizefight writer Pierce Egan. Molineaux battles against poverty and prejudice to win the right to face the great English champion Tom Cribb. Huge crowds gather to watch. Can the American overcome the odds to win? And what will it mean if a freed slave becomes the champion in a sport that has come to define the national character?
This exciting new drama charts the rise and fall of one of the first international sporting heroes.
Tom Molineaux: Nathan Medina
Pierce Egan: Brendan O'Rourke
Written by Tom Green
Directed by Kate Bannister
Production Manager & Set Design: Karl Swinyard
Fight Direction: RC Annie
Lighting Design: William Ingham
Sound Design: Jack Barton
Costume Design: Martin Robinson
Stage Manager: Lucy Myers
Assistant Director: Thomas Attwood
Production Assistant: Shanah Feely
Photography & Film: Timothy Stubbs Hughes
The project and production are supported by Arts Council England, Counterpoints Arts, Jack Studio Theatre, The Haberdashers' Company Charitable Foundations, Wandsworth Arts Fringe, Unity Theatre Trust.
Nathan Medina (Tom Molineaux)
Nathan Medina was born in Kinsahsa, Congo but was raised most of his life in North West London. He attended Barnet College and then during a gap year toured Europe, performing in a production of And Then They Came For Me where he had the opportunity to work very closely with Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss (step sister to Anne Frank). Nathan graduated from The Guildford School Of Acting in 2012 and worked at The Globe Theatre in Dominic Dromgoole's production of Henry V. He went on tour with Theatre Centre production of The Day The Waters Came and was most recently seen as Conjurer /Hortensio in Shakespeare Globe read not dead production of The White Devil directed by James Chalmers. He appears in E4’s Production of Humans. Other credits include: Bang Bang (Park Theatre), The Divine Chaos of Starry Things (White Bear Theatre), Love For Love (Park Theatre), Carnal (Tristan Bates Theatre), Reduced Circumstances Showcase (Leicester Square Theatre), Gemini ( Dark Image Studios -Première Berlin Film Festival)
Brendan O'Rourke (Pierce Egan)
Training: The Oxford School of Drama. Theatre credits include: Incident At Vichy (The Finborough Theatre), The Trial (Brockley Jack Theatre Studio), Crooks(Colab Theatre), The Red Suitcase (Southwark Playhouse), Finale (Vault Festival 2016), The McGowan Trilogy (Kino Teatr), Boris Godunov (Brockley Jack Theatre Studio), How To Find Us (Soho Theatre) and Othello (Northwall Theatre, Oxford). Film/TV credits include: Game Of Thrones (season 6), The Lodgers (Irish feature film), The Charm (starring opposite Laura Whitmore), Garvey and Sayers, Kill Your Idols (Cannes 2014), Do It (written by Vicki Jones) and The Boreen (RTÉ Shortscreen).
Tom Green (Writer)
Tom's plays include Being Tommy Cooper (Old Red Lion, UK Tour, 4 Offie-Award nominations), Talking In Bed (Theatre 503), Fighting (Jack Studio), The Death of Margaret Thatcher (Courtyard), Katherine (Finborough). Radio plays: For Ever England (BBC Radio 4), The Tent (BBC Radio 4).
Kate Bannister (Director)
Kate has been Artistic Director of the Jack Studio since 2005. During this time she has programmed and produced over 350 performance events at the venue, including new writing, revivals, musical theatre, comedy and film. Kate instigated the annual Write Now Festivals and other new writing programmes at the Jack including Writers’ Hub and Write Here. Productions at the Jack Studio include: Better Together, The Haunting, A Cool Million, 1938 - Hitler Takes Vienna, rock, paper, scissors, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Spank House, Pool, The Mystery of Irma Vep The Ghost Train, The Libertine, Borderland, Around the World in 80 Days, Secrets from the Long Grass, Chocolate Bounty, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Agamemnon, She Stoops to Conquer, Fighting, Women of Troy, Jane Eyre, The Hound of the Baskervilles, A Christmas Carol, The Importance of Being Earnest, Xanthippe, Anthem, Kindred Stain, Great Expectations, and Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! Further productions include: Ollie Reed: Wild Thing (Ambassadors Theatre, St. James’ Theatre, Gilded Balloon, UK Tour), Hamlet, associate director for Blue Apple Theatre (Winchester Theatre Royal), The Miracle (Broadway Theatre), Amah (Tara Arts), Leonce and Lena, The Girls’ Consent, A Bill of Divorcement (Greenwich Playhouse), A Fans’ Club (New Wimbledon Theatre, Edinburgh Festival), Six Men (Spring Gardens Arts), Orion (Wilton’s Music Hall), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Blue Elephant Theatre), Alice and A Christmas Carol (regional tours).
William Ingham (Lighting Design)
William trained at The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology where he studied Theatre and then went on to Goldsmiths University where he specialised in lighting Graduating in 2010, he has gone on to design for a number of productions in different disciplines. Design credits include: The Ghost Train, Rope, Marigolds, Love Story, The Mystery of Irma Vep, The Haunting, Better Together, Bad Seed (The Jack Studio Theatre), Rich Isn’t Easy (Tristan Bates), The Buffet (Soho Theatre), Early Days (Finborough Theatre), Iron (The Old Red Lion), Like Enemies of the State (New Diorama), Corpus Christi (The Space), Othello (Riverside Studios), Fosterling (Oval House Theatre) Julius Caesar (Saatchi Gallery), Private View (Theatre Delicatessen), Thisbe (The Vaults), Tim & Light (UK Tour), Sam Rose In the Shadows (UK Tour), Rime (UK Circus Theatre Tour), Knot (UK Circus Theatre Tour) Other Credits include: The Furies (Kindle Theatre Company; The Vaults 2012, ACT Festival, Bilbao 2012, Short Theatre Festival, Rome 2013) In 2013 William received an Off West End Awards nomination for Best Lighting Design for his work on The Mystery of Irma Vep.
Jack Barton (Sound Design)
Jack is a musician, sound designer and recent alumni of the University of Manchester’s music department. Since graduating in 2016, he has collaborated as a sound designer and composer across a variety of mediums including theatre, film and live performance. Jack’s work for theatre has been recognised by two Off West End Award nominations for Best Sound Design. Sound Design credits for theatre include Tribe (London Theatre Workshop), Becoming Mohammed (Pleasance), Macbeth (Brockley Jack Theatre Studio), Dubailand (Finborough), You/Me/Tomorrow (HOME Manchester), The Tempest (Etcetera) and Pizza Delique (Paradise Green Edinburgh).