© Alice Ripoll

Fight Night - Creation

05/04/2013 — Ontroerend Goed & The Border Project Five players. Five rounds. Your voice. One survivor. Ontroerend Goed do their utmost to ensure the best does not win. PREMIERE 10/4/2013 Vooruit, Ghent

FIGHT NIGHT combines Ontroerend Goed and The Border Project’s forces into a playful and immersive political exploration. The performance puts five actors into the position of ‘candidates’ struggling to get the audience’s sympathy and, ultimately, their vote. Only one of them will survive the relentless series of eliminations and they apply all possible tactics and strategies to assure their victory.
Set on a platform reminiscent of a boxing ring, the competition is fought not with fists but with words and looks. The audience, armed with a voting keypad, decides who stays and who goes, but gets entangled in an increasingly complex and puzzling system of rules and manipulations. As in mediatized political campaigns, polls and predictions, debates and charm offensives challenge the voters’ loyalty and common sense, in the end toppling their notion of free choice.
Fight Night is thoroughly political, but never explicitly so. The candidates don’t voice a particular ideology, nor do they comment on social issues or economic realities. By stripping their discourse of identifiable political messages, the show draws attention to the very reasons and motivations that compel voters to vote. What is at stake, is the way the concept of ‘rule of the people’ is put into practice in contemporary democratic societies. Fight Night illustrates how content and ideas are only relevant if they make a difference in statistics and increase the chance to gain power through numbers.
As in Ontroerend Goed’s Audience (2011), the spectators are again at the heart of the performance’s dramaturgy. While in the former production, the audience was warmed up to become a crowd and then confronted with the beauty and danger of group behaviour, Fight Night casts them as voters granted unprecedented power over the progression of the show. Clearing their way through randomness and irrationality, consideration and conscience, the performance guides them on their path to become a majority.