BEING a skilled actor was not enough to land a role in the latest production at HotHouse Theatre.
I’m Your Man director Roslyn Oades was after a cast fit enough to perform in the physically demanding play that follows a young boxer through his preparations for a world title fight.
Michael Mohammed Ahmad plays Billy “the kid” Dib in the play that opened at the Butter Factory Theatre last night.
“It’s a one-hour workout for me every single night I do the show,” Ahmad said.
Oades and Ahmad spent 18 months following Dib’s quest and conducting interviews where they met boxing legends like Jeff Fenech and Anthony Mundine.
No ordinary production, the actors wear earpieces and take their lines directly from the ringsides, gyms and dressing rooms of Oades’ recordings.
“I channel (Billy Dib’s) breaths, pauses and mistakes to really capture his voice and his vernacular,” Ahmad said.
“There are times that I am actively listening to Billy Dib, I’m delivering lines and skipping at the same time.”
The stage is turned into a real life, sweaty boxing gym.
“We are not pretending to box, it’s a fully functional working gym,” he said.
The production runs until Sunday.