Edinburgh Fringe 2010
As his title fight approaches, a boxer faces his toughest demons yet. James Gaddas’s hard-hitting piece pulls no punches.
The worm that turns: bullied at school, the boy trains himself to be a killer in the ring. In a tightly written script by James Gaddas, the boxer declares "a good punch starts in the mind”. This performance was no shadow boxing, it was tough and well-aimed like the text. And it was a mind piece. How much was free movement and how much was blocked is hard to say, but the effect was entirely realistic and visual and gripping from start to finish.
This wasn’t just the celebration of a brute with a big fist, it was the struggle of a human being seeking fulfilment in the delivery of those killer cuts. And there was poetry here too, poetry of movement and the association with the athleticism of classical Greece was another point scored. The Artist and the Animal. Although for your reviewer Shadow Boxing scored top marks for writing, production and acting, it didn’t quite aspire to the 5 star grade. The piece lacked the power to send me out of the theatre elated, inspired, or even to have changed my life in some way. It was just very good indeed, watertight in fact, and I’d advise anyone to go and see it and be rewarded. I don’t think it’s a play though, which will leave an indelible mark in your memory.