An actress and playwright from Hemel Hempstead who saw her own one-woman play become a West End success is witnessing her creation on stage in her hometown for the first time.
Former Cavendish School pupil Charlotte Briant, 24, penned the monologue Bitch Boxer, which has gone on to sell out at the Edinburgh Frige Festival and its Australian counterpart in Adelaide, as well as a run at London’s Soho Theatre. This month, for the first time, it will be performed on familiar ground at Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town Hall.
Charlotte, who wrote the play in 2012, said: “The world wasn’t waiting for me, I wasn’t getting the parts I wanted, and the parts out there for women aren’t great.
“I wanted to write myself a part that explored strength – not only the strength to be vulnerable, but also physical strength.”
The London Olympics provide the backdrop to the play, which saw women’s boxing included as an Olympic sport for the very first time.
Ahead of its debut at Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town Hall, Charlotte has now cast 21-year-old drama graduate Holly Augustine for the part, which she previously played herself.
Though she had no previous boxing experience prior to her performance as wannabe boxer Chloe, Charlotte, from Adeyfield, began training at Islington Boxing Club in North London and, incredibly, has gone on to compete in the sport internationally.
She said: “I started boxing for research for the play but I am now doing it competitively – I fell in love with it and it has changed my life.”
She is also working with a television production company on adapting Bitch Boxer for the small screen.
Charlotte said: “I never expected the play to continue as long as it has, or be as successful as it has been. I feel really proud that it is coming to the Old Town Hall. When I was growing up I always went to there for youth groups or to watch performances, and now it has gone full cycle. I always wanted to bring Bitch Boxer back to my roots.”
Charlotte’s literally hard-hitting show will visit the Old Town Hall for one night only as part of its second UK tour, gracing 15 venues. Tickets for the show, on Saturday, May 17 at 8pm, cost £10 or £8 for concessions and can be bought from the venue, online at oldtownhall.co.uk or by calling 01442 228 091. The show is suitable for 14s and over.