"Ms Shearer in a fully committed and rigorous performance has transformed herself quite startingly to create for us."
"Like many a young artist in Sydney, Ms Shearer is showcasing her own talents, using her own resources, not waiting to be 'found', but getting on with it, and doing it.
One can feel obliged, sometimes, to just get on board with these aspiring and yearning artists, and support them. One wishes the principal companies e.g. The Sydney Theatre Company & Belvoir, for instance, had the policy to hunt out these shows and find these artists who are risking more than their talents to be seen."
THEATRE RED INTERVIEW - 7th MAY, 2015
In 2012, women stepped into the boxing ring for the first time in Olympic history. Inspired by this is Charlotte Josephine’s play Bitch Boxer. Coming to the Old 505 soon, it will be performed by the brilliant Katherine Shearer.
What attracted you to the play?
It’s fresh. It’s honest. It’s high energy. It’s funny. It’s contemporary. And ultimately it’s a character that we don’t very often see portrayed on stage by a female. A boxer. The background is London 2012. Female boxing was accepted as an Olympic sport for the first time. I’ve never seen a play about this before. Chloe the character is tough but with a beautiful vulnerability. She’s going through a process of learning how to deal with her life, dealing with some tough challenges and growing up. She’s a character I love and can relate to. As a performer, I was attracted to the challenge of this role physically and mentally. I thought the writing was witty also. And well crafted. It has a percussive rhythm to it.
What are the joys and challenges of the rehearsal process?
The challenge of this process is the one-woman show aspect. As an actor I love working with an ensemble, creating and drawing inspiration together with my fellow cast. The play relies solely on me! Yikes. Talk about scary. Chloe is a physical being, she hasn’t had to deal emotionally with life too much yet, and so it’s incorporating all of that into bringing her alive on stage. I’ve had to do a lot of boxing training and I’m only scratching the tip of the iceberg with it. I have a new respect for the sport. These athletes are primal and so dedicated. I’ve had to be highly motivated for this whole process to have occurred. I’ve self-produced and that’s been a learning curve and a test for my patience and sanity, to put it aside when I need to rehearse. The joys totally outweigh the challenges though because the joys are in the challenges. I love a challenge.
What would you like the audience to feel or think about?
I want the audience to go away saying “I really enjoyed that”. I want to entertain. This is a really heart-warming play and I want people to be touched by the story, to evoke in them some feelings from any of the play's themes that every one of us can relate to – love, loss, grief, struggle, desire and a passion for something that can engulf you if you allow it. I think this play is good old fashioned storytelling. I want my audience to enjoy Chloe’s journey. I want them to back her, I want them to care for her. I want them to be inspired also.