The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Boxing is of course associated with violence but Beautiful Burnout manages to capture the grace of the controversial sport in Bryony Lavery's latest play.
Following five young boxers as they learn the ropes at the gym of trainer Bobby Burgess (Keith Fleming) and on the mean streets of Glasgow, the story is in many ways a conventional one.
The teenagers find discipline in the sport that takes them away from a life of shoplifting in the case of Cameron Burns (Stuart Ryan) and, for Dina Massie (Margaret Ann Bain), a dysfunctional family.
Yet in the hands of Frantic Assembly's physical theatre approach, this one act play transcends predictability.
This is in large part down to Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett's breathtaking choreography for the fight scenes, which is closer to contemporary dance than theatre.
The boxers move and weave in synchronicity to the thudding beats of Underworld while video screens in the background flicker with close-ups of the action.
The cleverness of the script is that it manages to combine this disciplined brutality with the safety concerns of Cameron's mother Carlotta (Julie Wilson Nimmo) and streetwise humour.
Nor does it opt for easy moral judgements, with the arrogant Ajay Chopra (Taqi Nazeer) hitting the big time while the naturally talented Massie has to contend with sexism in the pre-Nicola Adams industry.
Acted out on a raised platform that doubles as a boxing ring, the play's unexpected ending gives it a gravitas that shows there's no clear right or wrong about the sport.
It's this overarching approach that gives the show depth and makes the audience reflect on it long after it concludes.
Tours Newcastle, Southampton and Hull Until December 1. Details: www.franticassembly.co.uk