Preview: Fight Night at VAULT Festival

Fight Night VAULT Festival
Fight Night VAULT Festival

After winning the Innovation Award at last year’s Festival, Exit Productions return to VAULT 2019 with the world premiere of Fight Night – their most ambitious immersive project to date. Fury, excitement and tension build as two boxers enter the ring and it is up to the audience who is crowned the champion.

A knock out can change a life. A points decision can end a career. With a live fight every night the audience can become kingmakers, influencing the outcome of the bout. Recreating the thrills of live boxing, Fight Night will also offer the opportunity to meet the people behind the scenes orchestrating the excitement including trainers, promoters and the fighter’s own family. As whispers and rumours run rife through the arena before the fight, it is up to the audience how they will use the information – to influence the outcome, to find out where the corruption is coming from or to make some money?

With fight direction from Jonathan Holby (Machinal and Summer and Smoke, Almeida Theatre; Killer Joe, Trafalgar Studios; The King and I, London Palladium), the production will star Edward Linard (Vikings, Amazon; Mary Queen of Scots, Focus Features; Romeo and Juliet, UK tour), Rachel Switlick (Eat My Heart Out, Grid Games, Murder Mysteries, NYC Murder Mystery Company), and Simon Pothecary (The Woman in Black, UK tour; War Babies, So Arts Club; Tree in the Sky, Nuffield Theatre). The cast also includes Pete Grimwood (Of Our Own Device, D5 Films; House of America, Jack Studio Theatre; All in the Same Boat, Oxford House Theatre), Hannah Samuels (Kiss Chase, The Bunker Theatre; Meeting at 33, Pleasance Edinburgh), Ben Lydon (Henry V, Rose Playhouse; Ethical People, The Cockpit; Drifters, Channel 4) and Brendan O’Rourke (Revolution, VAULT Festival; Incident at Vichy, Finborough Theatre and King’s Head Theatre; Game of Thrones, HBO).

Boxing is on the rise with the heavy-weight division gaining popularity that it hasn’t seen since the days of Mike Tyson. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are among the international superstars whose huge personalities drive the live spectacles. Bringing the drama of these fine-tuned rivalries, Fight Night explores bravado and the clash between public and private personas.

Directors Joe Ball and Chris Neels comment, With British boxing bigger and more exciting than ever, now feels like the right time to do this show. We want to collide this with the growing appetite for interactive work because the ring, and world around it, is the perfect place to explore Exit’s mission to make theatre more of a night out. With the audience being active members of the performance, this is a live event at its most lively!

Fight Night is at VAULT Festival 30th January to 17th February 2019.

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