One of Spare Tyre’s training projects, run in 1987 and in collaboration with director Nick Nuttgens, resulted in the creation of Upfront Theatre Company, who performed Fists and Fingernails at the Old Vic Theatre, and provided performances at schools and other venues.
A 1989 article about participant Roy Williams, describes the experience: ‘Straight after the summer project, Spare Tyre, a women’s theatre group, wanted to direct a play about sexism with a mixed group from the Cockpit. Based on their own experiences, it was called Fists and Fingernails. One of the things they looked at was the ways in which boys act tough in order to prove themselves.’ (Tony Graham, Guardian, 10 May 1989)
Upfront described itself in the programme as:
‘A multi-racial group of thirteen young adults who are especially dedicated to making the arts more accessible to young people, encouraging discussion and thought on current attitudes and social issues relevant to teenagers and young adults. We are intent on promoting anti-sexist, and anti-racist education.’
Cast: Sonya Braunton, Tania Caliendo, Donna Clark, Joanna Creese, Marie Critchley, Simon Joslin, Michael Lowe, Cassi Pool, Neville Robinson, Lynn Sutcliffe, Roy Williams, Debbie-Anne Witter and Ann Wootton.
Production team: Marion Davies (Set Design), Julie Jenkins (Set Construction), Lorraine Russell (Adaptation), Marilyn Eccles (Lighting Design), Lois Bradbury and Lorraine Russell (Lighting and Sound), Clair Chapman (Script), Katina Noble and Clair Chapman (Direction), Nick Nuttgens (Choreography) and Harriet Powell (Musical Direction).