Boxing isn’t normally part of theatre or storytelling but Prize Fighter plans to change all that, with the rare theatrical combo of live boxing in the storytelling process.

A part of the Melbourne Festival and Darebin Arts Speakeasy, Prize Fighter tells the story of Isa, a Congolese boy who comes to Australia as a refugee escaping a brutal civil war and unspeakable horrors. Set in Brisbane, Isa finds a passion for, and discipline in boxing.

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,” says Melbourne Festival’s Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway.

Isa’s new boxing passion leads to the dream of a National Title, and the promise of fame and riches beyond his wildest dreams. Gearing up for this fight, he discovers it is not just his opponents but the demons from his past, when he was a boy soldier, that he has to contend with.

Inspired by his own true story and those he knows, this is the first play by Future D. Fidel. Prize Fighter is a survival story much like Future’s own, who was forced to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo as a child following the civil war in 1996. He and his siblings then spent eight years in a Tanzanian refugee camp until being granted refugee status in Australia.

Actor, Pacharo Mzembe shows his own hard-earned boxing skills in the role of Isa, and performs against his brother Gideon Mzembe. Both actors have strong sporting backgrounds – delivering a performance in Prize Fighter which gives an adrenaline-pumping, full-contact theatre at its best.

Grab your tickets to see this Prize Fighter, part of this year's Melbourne International Arts Festival, this October!


Dates: 9 –14 October, and 16 – 20 October Time: Tuesday – Saturday; 8pm, Sunday; 6pm Duration: 70mins Location: Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, Main Hall Tickets: Full $38, Concession/Student $33, Preview $25

Contact: (03) 9481 9500 Darebin Arts Website