Brighton Fringe 2014
Will a young girl boxer survive the stress of making it to the 2012 Olympic finals.
This is a one woman play, a brilliant piece of theatre, starting with a chair on a bare stage and ending with a standing ovation. Holly Augustine as Chloe, comes on stage, moves the chair and marks out with chalk on the floor, the outline of a boxing ring. She then enters into this absorbing monologue about a young boxer whose ambition is to box in the 2012 Olympics. The play though is much more than this and is about the character of Chloe, the close relationship with her boxing coach father and falling in love. Chloe would probably be described as a difficult person because she is strong, speaks her mind and is obsessed with boxing. Will she make it to the Olympic Finals? She is perturbed by the lack of communication with her mother and cross about the hypocrisy of people at funerals. Underneath this hard surface we see a vulnerable young girl fearful of life without her father and uncertain about how to handle a relationship with a man. Her descriptions of her boyfriend are extremely amusing, especially about when she met him for the first time. Her confusion is total when he asks if she loves him. Will her determination get her through life? As her Dad told her “You have to fight for what you love”.
Holly Augustine’s performance was astonishing. I don’t know if she has been a boxer before but she absolutely convinces in all the boxing scenes. It is a very physical performance, not only with the skipping and boxing but in her style of acting. Suddenly, from great physicality, with a slight change of facial expression, she shows the soft interior behind her hard persona.
The play is cleverly written by Charlotte Josephine looking at a young girl from many different levels. The direction by Bryony Shanahan brought out every nuance in the script and makes wonderful use of a small empty playing area. Clever lighting by Seth Rook Williams, quite stark at times, manages to convey all the different settings and moods of Chloe. Daniel Foxsmith is responsible of the sound. There is a delightful moment when Chloe is miming & the voice really seems to come from her mouth. Snuff Box Theatre is certainly a young company with the highest standards.
Holly Augustine has only recently graduated from LAMDA and it is astonishing to see such a commanding performance from someone with so little experience. I will be looking out with interest to see how her career develops.