Published On: Sun, Sep 17th, 2023
Entertainment | 4,427 views

Rumble in the Jungle review – Immersive recreation of Muhammad Ali fight | Theatre | Entertainment

Over the last few years, Secret Cinema has been creating immersive experiences by bringing audiences into the worlds of their favourite movies. 

Rematch may take a similar approach but instead of jumping into Guardians of the Galaxy or James Bond, they take you back in time to witness real sporting history.

Having previously reimagined the 1980 Borg-McEnroe Wimbledon final, this time around guests journey to 1974 Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to witness one of the most famous boxing fights of all time.

Yet the iconic heavy-weight bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman is only one aspect of stepping into this incredible adult playground.

Entering the space you’re greeted by African dancing, music and delicious food as actors portraying the likes of promoter Don King and journalist David Frost give live on-camera interviews in an energised lead-up to the fight.

Meanwhile, Ali and Foreman strut about gearing up for their punch-up, in sparing sessions and press conferences.

Similar to Secret Cinema you can sit back and take in the atmosphere or actively engage in a mission based on the political and racial context in which the fight took place.

It’s hardly surprising then, that the creative director Miguel H Torres spent 12 years at Secret Cinema, as this is certainly one of the most immersive and entertaining we’ve been to.

Later on in the night, a live band fronted by James Brown perform a mini concert before a walled-off area to the boxing arena is opened up for the fight.

Given VIP ringside seats, we were treated to a private performance of Ali preparing in his dressing room, tenaciously defying the doubters around him.

When the boxing actually began we were pleased to see it wasn’t a simple punch-by-punch recreation of the fight, but a theatre piece that paused for monologues and dances related to the political and racial context of this sporting history.

It’s also worth pointing out that you don’t have to be a boxing or sports fan to enjoy this experience with its music, food and culture offering something for everyone. We can’t wait to see which Rematch they tackle next.

Rumble in the Jungle – Rematch takes place at Dock X at London’s Canada Water for a limited run and tickets can be purchased here.

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