“You can’t have a show without an audience, and tonight this is more true than ever”
Big Brother meets a sleazy political race in The Sydney Theatre Company’s latest show, Fight Night. Not only does this theatrical mind-fuck break the fourth wall, it takes up the sledgehammer personally in order to deliver a calculated blow to the audience’s psyche. Oh, and it’s also super fun.
Ontroerend Goed, the Belgian theatre company that created the show, is becoming somewhat infamous when it comes to the realm of interactive theatre. And if Fight Night is anything to go by, it’s immensely successful in this endeavour. As audience members enter the theatre, they’re handed a device which they can use to cast votes throughout the show. At times it will be used to nominate their favourite candidates, at others it will be to answer questions. Some questions are as easy as your age group, while others ask you to elect which words you find most offensive.
Over the course of five rounds in a setting reminiscent of a boxing ring, five candidates make their cases for why they should be the audience’s chosen victor. In a rather brutal fashion, they’re slowly eliminated until only one remains.
Despite the humour utilised within the show, particularly through the Ring Announcer, Fight Night is designed to force audiences examine themselves, the concept of majority voting and politics in general. “That’s the problem with the system. You can only choose the options we give you.” What results is provocation that is likely to follow participants well after they’ve jumped in their cars to head home.
So whether you’re fan of political metaphors, intelligent comedy or even just judging people, Fight Night is the perfect unique theatre experience for you.
Fight Night is running until April 13 at the Wharf 2 Theatre.