Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Glory at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough – ‘explosive and witty production’

Cast of Glory. Photo: Andrew Billington Cast of Glory. Photo: Andrew Billington
by -

Glory’s Gym, run by wrestling has-been Jim Glory, has seen better days. Jim clings to the idea of a wrestling resurgence where the goodies and the baddies are easily identified, and where the ‘Baby Faces’ are the blond-haired, blue-eyed heroes of the ring, while the ‘Heels’ are instantly hateable. Cue a crass seventies joke: a black lad, an Asian lad and a Syrian immigrant all step into a gym and it’s not a multicultural success story. Glory’s is a gym in an unnamed northern town where tensions are high and stories are never as simple as good guys and bad guys. Nothing is ever just black and white.

This is a brave, bold production that could easily tip into racism while trying to highlight the racial tensions of modern-day Britain, but it doesn’t. Nick Ahad’s controlled, witty writing holds the production together while Rod Dixon’s direction keeps it from spilling into just another Rocky-esque testosterone comeback story.

The whole of the stage is taken up by a wrestling ring, into which the characters throw themselves, wrestling each other inches away from the audience, and it is exhilarating to watch. Fight director and choreographer Kevin McCurdy has managed to make this look brutally real.

Special note should be made of Tayo Akinbode’s quietly important soundscapes, which help to create such a full production in a limited space.

Let’s have more spandex in theatre, I say.

Scarborough theatre sets up free creche for audiences

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Explosive and witty production that uses wrestling to tackle race