Prize Fighter by Future D. Fidel
DATES: Tuesday 9 – Sunday 14 October, Tuesday 16 – Saturday 20 October; Time: Tuesday – Saturday 8pm / Sunday 6pm
VENUE: Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, Main Hall 189 High St Northcote, VIC - Australia
Get ringside for a rare theatrical combo: engrossing storytelling paired with the visceral thrill of live boxing. Future D. Fidel’s Prize Fighter tells a story of Isa, a Congolese boy who comes to Australia as a refugee escaping a brutal civil war and unspeakable horrors.
Settling in Brisbane, he finds a passion and discipline in boxing. With Pacharo Mzembe bringing his own hard-earned boxing skills to the role of Isa, Prize Fighter is adrenaline-pumping, full-contact theatre at its best. On the line is a national title and the promise of fame and riches beyond Isa’s wildest dreams. Gearing up for the fight, he soon discovers it’s not just his opponents he has to surpass, but the demons from his torturous past as a boy soldier.
Inspired by his own story and those of people he has known, Prize Fighter is the debut play of Fidel who was forced to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo as a child following the civil war in 1996. He and his siblings spent eight years in a Tanzanian refugee camp until being granted refugee status in Australia. This is knockout theatre in every sense. From fight choreography so visceral you'll feel every blow to writing that packs an emotional punch, Prize Fighter ducks and weaves with astonishing grace.
Pacharo Mzembe (The Mountaintop, Underbelly, Gwen in Purgatory) performs alongside his brother, Gideon Mzembe. Both have strong sporting backgrounds - Pacharo with his years of boxing training and Gideon, a former professional rugby player with the Brisbane Broncos and Manly Sea Eagles. Melbourne Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway said: ‘Prize Fighter is an incredible story told in the most thrilling of ways. Staged as a boxing match right in front of you, Fidel’s debut play tells a story with elements we know really well, but also surprise. The work is muscular and casts out all of the reservations people have of the arts, putting theatre into a boxing ring: the smell, the sound, the sight.’
‘Prize Fighter is, in every respect, theatre that matters.’ – ABC Arts
‘The most perfectly structured, brilliantly produced and best-acted new play… Stunning blow from one-time boy soldier.’ – The Australian
‘The cast is superb, generating an electrifying physical energy that catches fire in the audience, who cheer throughout, just as they might in a stadium, unless they are rendered absolutely silent by one of its moments of theatrical beauty.’ – ABC News
‘Prize Fighter punches above its weight with the story of a former boy fighter.’ – The Sydney Morning Herald
Tickets: Full $38, Concession/Student $33, Preview $25
Bookings: darebinarts.com.au or call (03) 9481 9500
Warnings: Violence, sexual references and adult themes. Haze, smoke effects and strobe lighting in use.
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