Runtime: 2h 20m
There have been plenty of brilliant plays about boxing and the boxing ring is very much like a stage, so there are high hopes for this new play unfolding in 12 rounds which charts the life and times of black British boxer Vernon Vanriel. A child of the Windrush generation, arriving in the UK aged six, Vanriel saw success in the ring in the 1970s, but in 2005 found himself in a fight with the home office to be recognized as a citizen. Highlighting the injustices suffered by too many of the Windrush generation, this true story is co-written by Vanriel himself.
The Production Exchange and Park Theatre present the World Premiere. Pulsating with the rhythmic energies of blues, reggae and boxing, On the Ropes is an uplifting musical drama telling the extraordinary story of Vernon Vanriel who arrived in Britain aged 6 with his family as part of the Windrush Generation, and rose to prominence as one of the most charismatic and influential Black British boxers of the 70s and 80s. In 2005, having lived in North London for over 40 years, Vernon found himself trapped in Jamaica, and in a bare-knuckle fight for his right to citizenship with the British Home Office. In an energetic fusion of live music, humour, poetry and the duck and weave of the boxing ring,On the Ropes is a celebration of Vernon – aka The Entertainer – and, ultimately, of how courage, dignity and a fighting spirit can triumph over prejudice and injustice. Age Recommendation: 12+