Sneak Preview Review: THE ROYALE

by Lynn on October 18, 2018

in The Passionate Playgoer

The Royale

At the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, Ont.

Written by Marco Ramirez

Directed by Guillermo Verdecchia

Set and costumes by Ken MacKenzie

Lighting by Michelle Ramsey

Composer and sound designed by Thomas Ryder Payne

Fight director, Simon Don

Cast: Christef Desire

Dion Johnstone

Diego Matamoros

Alexander Thomas

Sabryn Rock

Playwright Marco Ramirez has written a gripping play of ambition, racism and tenacity. The story of Jay Jackson, a black boxer, wanting to fight the retired heavyweight champion of the world, who is white, echoes the story of Jack Johnson who fought Jim Jeffries in 1910. The hopes and dreams of blacks rest on Jay winning. But the cost to him and his family is enormous.

Dion Johnstone plays Jay with a sheen of elegance, drive, laser focus and a determination that is breathtaking. The cast is superb.

Guillermo Verdecchia has directed a production that is muscular, nuanced, detailed and simply thrilling.

Full review shortly.

Soulpepper presents:

Opened: Oct. 18, 2018.

Closes: Nov. 11, 2018.

Running Time: 90 gripping minutes.

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