Prize Fighter


Video Design // Theatre and Promotional (2015)

A La Boite Theatre Company and Brisbane Festival Production

Join us ringside for Brisbane Festival 2015 as we transform the Roundhouse into a boxing arena and take you on a high-impact ride from Africa to Australia and back again.

A talented young boxer, Isa, is preparing for the biggest fight of his career. On the line is the national title and the promise of fame and riches beyond his wildest dreams. What unfolds is a modern-day fable of a Congolese boy orphaned by war and forced to become a child soldier by the very people who killed his family. His powerful left hook offers a new life in Australia, but his greatest obstacle is not his opponent – it’s his past.

La Boite Artist-in-Residence Future D. Fidel writes with the undeniable force of authenticity. Fleeing the Congo as a child, he lived in a Tanzanian refugee camp for eight years before being granted refugee status in Australia. Prize Fighter is inspired by his own story and those of people he has known.

We are thrilled to present in the lead role one of Queensland’s most talented young actors, Pacharo Mzembe (The Mountaintop, Underbelly), who brings years of boxing training to the stage.

Production Photography by Dylan Evans


5 – 26 September 2015
Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane



Written by // Future Fidel
Director // Todd MacDonald
Designer // Bill Haycock
Video Designer // optikal bloc
Lighting Designer // David Walters
Sound Designer // Felix Cross
Dramaturg // Chris Kohn

Original Cast // Pacharo Mzembe, Gideon Mzembe, Sophia Emberson-Bain, Margi Brown-Ash, Kenneth Ransom & Thuso Lekwape


“Prize Fighter is, in every respect, theatre that matters.” ALISON CROGGON, ABC

“optikal bloc’s exciting projected imagery is essential in the audience immersement into the hype of a prize fight event.” BLUE CURTAIN BRISBANE

“It was a clever recreation of a day in any amateur boxing gym helped along by great video design from optikal bloc, moody lighting from David Walters and music and sound by Felix Cross.” ABSOLUTE THEATRE

“There’s much technical virtuosity on display in the Roundhouse, with David Walter’s excellent lighting design and the immersive sound and video-scape from Felix Cross and optikal bloc allowing the play to slide seamlessly between its set-piece boxing matches and the turbulent past of its hero” CREATIVE DRINKS

“Umm, did that just happen? Could it be that Brisbane has just witnessed the world premiere of the most perfectly structured, brilliantly produced and best-acted new play seen in this town in, well, living memory probably?” THE AUSTRALIAN


Helpmann Award nominations for Best Play, Best New Australian Work, Best Actor in a Play, Best Supporting Actor in a Play.