The Boxer by James McNicholas.

James McNicholas photographed above with the “teapot” that was “Pop’s” first Boxing trophy.

James McNicholas’s true story brings together the family history about his grandfather’s boxing career and brilliant comedy in his debut solo Fringe show The Boxer.

As McNicholas begins his performance you wonder if this is a story about how a boxer makes his way to become Champion Middleweight boxer. However, you soon become aware that what you are privileged to be watching is a personal and comedic journey into his family history.

Lovingly referred to as “Pop” McNicholas explains through his physical performance the rise to fame of this very determined character.

The passion and energy which fuel his entire show keeps the audience engaged throughout. The comparisons he makes between their careers are done partly for comedic purposes but you can feel the bittersweet undercurrents that McNicholas feels in that he will never achieve the greatness “Pop” managed.

However, I disagree with him. He has created a fantastic first-class show and fought some personal demons to bring the show to Edinburgh. That requires a level of bravery as the Fringe is a tough arena to enter. The play he has written is one of love and respect for someone that meant the world to him. How could that ever make him a failure?

The research, detail and high quality of research that has gone into this production leave you with a vast knowledge of Boxing films that have been made over the years whether you wanted to know it or not!

A warm, touching, funny and honest performance about two men who achieve what they set their hearts on and make their dream a reality. If you don’t believe him ask his Grandma! A fitting tribute to “Pop” aka Terry Downes that deserves to be seen.

Five Stars
Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker Two, 4:15 pm, 31st July – 25th August (not 14th)

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