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On The Ropes
Company devised / improvised


Devised Improvised Immersive Theatre.


"On The Ropes" was a commissioned work by Theatre Delicatessen for their Theatre Souk festival in London. Selected for my expertise in improvisation, Meisner technique, and stage combat, I was entrusted with crafting a theatrical piece set within a boxing ring surrounded by an audience on all sides.


The concept I devised offered a unique theatrical experience where actors, armed with predetermined scenarios, improvised each scene in front of a live audience. Audience members could bid for specific actions to unfold on stage, engaging with the actors in real time. These actions spanned from provocative statements like “worst thing you could do right now” to choices such as "kiss and make up" or "get physical," all displayed on a menu on the wall.


At any moment, an audience member could capture the ringmaster's attention and pay to alter the character’s tactics, prompting a specific action. Once a bid was made, a bell would ring, signalling the demand for the action to be integrated into the scene. The actors seamlessly incorporated these actions, maintaining the flow of the scene while the audience watched, often cheering as if at a boxing match.


The project received funding from the Arts Council, facilitating a five-week training and devising period. Actors with diverse backgrounds underwent tailored training in narrative-style improvisation, Meisner technique, improvised physical techniques, and stage combat for choreographed fight routines triggered by internal physical cues within scenes. Character backgrounds and histories were collaboratively developed with the actors, and scenarios were thoroughly workshopped in preparation.


The production, though raw and daring, garnered immense popularity and success at the festival. It challenged audiences and ignited lively debates about the nature of character behaviours, stimulating discussions among festival attendees.

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