How do you win a title fight? What does it take to be a man? Both require blood, sweat and tears according to 'I’m Your Man' — a verbatim-theatre piece about Australian boxing, masculinity and courage.
Creator Rosyln Oades followed Australian IBF World Featherweight Champion Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib for 18 months and immersed herself in the world of Australian boxing. She spent hundreds of hours recording interviews with boxing world figures including Jeff Fenech, Wally Carr, Tony Mundine, Gus Mercurio and Billy McPherson in order to create the show.
Describe the show in 5 words?
Sweaty, big-hearted, inspiring, adventurous and authentic.
Your fav. line in the play and why?
A line by the late, great Gus Mecurio: “Hands up, head down”. It was Gus’ personal motto and it’s a great motto for life in general, protect yourself and keep going. In hard times, don’t give up.
What do you want audiences to say about this as they leave?
I think audiences will find ‘I’m Your Man’ engaging, innovative and very uplifting contemporary theatre. The show is set in a boxing gym and focuses on intimate behind-the-scenes experiences rather than actual fights. It’s ultimately a work about courage and the desire to be special – which is a very human story we can all relate to even if you haven’t the slightest interest in boxing. I want audiences to leave inspired to be braver, fitter and keep striving in their pursuits.
What about this story was so appealing to you?
Acts of courage have always fascinated me. I found these characters incredibly inspiring and vulnerable. The only thing that’s certain in the world of professional boxing is no matter how high you fly you will eventually lose in a very public way – that kind of risk-taking takes real guts and a big heart.
Are there any life lessons to be learnt in the boxing ring?
As they say in the gym, ‘the more you sweat, the less you bleed!’ Success is all about discipline and preparation – there’s no shortcut to being top of your game, whatever that game may be.
'I’m Your Man' is playing at Brisbane Powerhouse for four nights only. Wed Aug 28 – Sat Aug 31.