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The Black Eye Club presented by Bread & Roses Theatre 

by Phil Charles
New writing;  A black Comedy addressing domestic abuse. 

When life throws your punches...drink, sing, survive!


When a gay man fleeing an abusive partner is turned away from a women-only refuge, one of the residents sneaks him into her room. The initially clashing characters, the shy Dave and the gobby Zoe, begin to bond over their shared traumatic experiences. But will they be able to keep him hidden from the eagle-eyed security guard? And will they be able to instill enough confidence in each other to be given the strength to leave their violent partners for good?


The Black Eye Club by Phil Charles was selected anonymously out of over 450 submissions as the winner of The Bread & Roses Playwriting Award following three reading rounds. The award was open for submissions last summer/autumn and called for full length plays with at least 50% material that are female, non-binary or gender neutral roles, from UK based playwrights. The premiere of the winning play is being staged for the theatre's third anniversary in November 2017, directed by the then Artistic Director Tessa Hart. 


Phil Charles was propelled to write The Black Eye Club after witnessing cuts to council budgets and their disastrous impact on services for those affected by domestic abuse, many refuges are forced to shut down or taken over by non-specialist providers.

WINNER of The Bread and Roses Playwriting Award '17 

“The Black Eye Club addresses struggles involved in escaping an abusive partner.  The play gives a unique spin on this very serious subject matter in that it explores it in a very hopeful way; it is also unique in that it looks at same-sex domestic abuse, the final gay taboo.”

    ★★★★★ Remote Goat


    ★★★★     LondonPubTheatre


Praise for The Black Eye Club 

“Entertainingly earthy and realistic”


“Full of mellow humour and tasty conflict of character”


“It’s high quality work from a theatre worth supporting.”


“It is remarkable to see such a serious subject matter handled with taste, awareness and delicacy, yet still managing to get the humour and heart-warming tone of the piece across”

Remote Goat

“Charles' script combines alarming brutality and endearing bravery.”

The Gizzle Review

“This is a play that is not afraid to wear its politics on its sleeve and shows the damage that austerity is doing to local government budgets really effectively"


Creative Team 

Writer: Phil Charles

Director :Tessa Hart

Producer: Heather Ralph

Set & Costume Designer: Sally Hardcastle

Lighting and Sound Designer: Eren Celikdemir

Production Manager: Eleanor Rose

Assistant Director : Laura Clifford


Dave: Christopher Sherwood

Zoe: Rebecca Pryle

Sharon: Cathryn Sherman

Photo Credit: Lexi Clare Photography 

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