A play about the unconventional love story between two professional boxers is about to embark on its third UK tour, visiting 11 venues across four weeks.
This includes five venues across Yorkshire: Square Chapel, Sheffield Crucible, York Theatre Royal, Hull Truck and Lawrence Batley Theatre.
Gypsy Queen opens its UK Tour 2019 at The Riverfront, Newport, on Thursday 31 January and comes to Square Chapel, Halifaxon Thursday 7 February.
It will then visit Sheffield Crucible on Saturday 9 February; York Theatre Royal on Wednesday 13 February; Hull Truck on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 February; and Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield on Tuesday 19 February
The full tour will also visit Nottingham Playhouse; Crewe Lyceum;; Theatr Clywd; Leicester Curve; and New Wolsey in Ipswich.
Set in the competitive world of boxing, Gypsy Queen is a tale of boxing and finding love in the most unusual circumstances, andexplores LGBTQI visibility in sport, faith, sexuality, and the notion of masculinity.
Gypsy Queen tells the story of ‘Gorgeous’ George O’Connell, a bare-knuckle fighter from a traveller family, a hero to his people and a self-proclaimed Gypsy King. George enters the world of professional boxing which puts him on a collision course with his roots, his fears and his very identity.
In the opposite corner, Dane ‘The Pain’ Samson, the young pretender and son of a boxing legend. He is fighting his own battles that lead to a tragedy that neither could predict.
This critically acclaimed love story about two men who find each other in the most unlikely of worlds. But can two men raised to fight ever learn to love?
The play features just two actors, who play nine characters between them, portraying comedy, drama and physicality in equal measure.
Gypsy Queen is written by Rob Ward, who also plays the role of George O’Connell. The role of Dane Samson will be played byJohn Askew who reprises the role after performing as Dane at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018 and the Gypsy Queen UK Tour 2018. Ryan Clayton will play the role of Dane at the Huddersfield date, who returns after being originally cast as the character in 2017.
The play is directed by Adam Zane and produced by Max Emmerson for Emmerson & Ward Productions, in association with Hope Theatre Company.
Just days before the tour opens in Newport, there is a special immersive performance of Gypsy Queen in Manchester on Sunday 27 January 2019. The site specific performance will be staged at Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club, where the cast will perform within the ropes of an actual boxing ring. A 3pm family friendly performance will be followed by the full production at 7pm.
Producer Max Emmerson commented: “We’ve had a fantastic response to the site specific performance of Gypsy Queen at Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club, and now we’re excited to announce details of the new UK Tour 2019.
“The play has strong messages of friendship, conflict, challenging prejudice – but most of all love. We’re looking forward to taking Gypsy Queen to new venues and audiences, and continues to help break down barriers.”
Gypsy Queen was nominated for two Manchester Theatre Awards 2018 in the categories of best new play and best fringe production.
The play was a knock-out success at Edinburgh in 2017 and 2018, garnering a host of four and five-star reviews, and was selected as one of LGBT Youth Scotland’s Top Ten Festival Picks at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe. It was also longlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, with writer Rob Ward named as one of the British Council’s Emerging Artists for 2017. The List also placed Gypsy Queen 39th on its list of best festival shows based on the opinions of a range of reviewers – out of 3,500 overall.
Gypsy Queen is suitable for audiences aged 16 upwards. The play contains strong language, nudity, and scenes of a sexual nature.