Arts & Entertainment

Fight Night

Photo: Sarah Eechaut

Audience participation – it’s as old as the hills. Think the colosseum, where a few bored thumbs pointed downward sent the unlucky gladiator out of the contest for good. Then there was reality TV, where no matter how hard and often you voted – somebody remained to carry on next week. Of course, modern politicians have turned riding the wave of audience participation into an art form, with their blessed focus groups.

That’s leadership from ‘behind’, thinking the public’s thoughts after them. Fight Night takes audience participation to a new level. Pushing the boundaries of polite theatre by attempting to read the minds and hearts of the audience, every member holds the electronic power to vote in the palm of their hands.

Created by maverick Belgian collective Ontroerend Goed and direct from a season at the Adelaide Festival, they are old friends of the STC. Plenty of fun but challenging and provocative for those with the ears to hear, there is nothing like a bit of good old audience participation to shine the spotlight on one’s own personal politics.

After all, there is complicity in the press of a button as well as the downward thumb. You’ve gotta love democracy. (GW)

Mar 20-Apr 13, Sydney Theatre Company, The Wharf 2, Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $35-65, (02) 9250 1777, sydneytheatre.com.au

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