Rumble in the Jungle Rematch
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: Dock X Canada Water, London
Cast: Akil Young, Kimane Juneau, Alexander Ajuwon, Joshua C. Jackson, Safi Veliora-Omar, Nathan Bartman, Oluwatosin Omotosho and Jackie Kibuka 

Get ready to reimagine the past in a way you never have before and join us at London’s latest immersive experience: RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE REMATCH!

Step inside the Rematch time machine and travel back to 1974 Kinshasa, Africa for a theatrical retelling of Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman’s infamous championship bout. 

Rumble in the Jungle Rematch is an all-encompassing immersive experience, where at times you feel more like you're in Zaire 1974, rather than London 2023, which is precisely the aim they set out to do, and they achieve it with ease.

The narrative starts in a modern day gym where we meet four characters who tell us they were "there" for the once-in-a-lifetime fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. They invite the audience to travel back in time to 1974 and witness the event first-hand. It's then we're led into the dominant area of the evening.

As the doors open, you're transported instantly. The smells, the sights and the sounds are overwhelmingly brilliant, and feel authentic. With a Congolese food stall in one corner, a fancy hotel candlelit bar in another, and a huge concert stage in the centre of the warehouse space, there's plenty to explore

As an audience member that likes to be directed, I found myself wary at what to explore first as I didn't want to miss anything vital. However, you're given gentle prompts to attend concerts, press conferences, language lessons, and more. There's no pressure to attend anything in particular, you could simply enjoy the atmosphere, food and drinks, if desired. However, I did find the food to be very overpriced.

While the build-up before the fight was exciting, I found the gig just before the boxing fight the highlight of the evening. Guy Kelton-Jones plays a ridiculously talented and suave James Brown, who had the audience in the palm of his hand. This was a great chance to really let loose, and I certainly took the opportunity to do so!

Ali, played by Kimane Juneau, and Foreman, played by Joshua C. Jackson were exceptional. The tension between the pair was palpable and they played off each other well. They both had a likeable quality, but of course, most of us were rooting for Ali, with cheers of "Ali bomaye" heard whenever we catch a glimpse of the man himself.

As a ringside VIP, you're invited into the changing room of Ali and get the chance to walk out with him pre-fight, which is an incredible experience. The fight is the main event of the evening, and it's very impressive to watch. What Alex Payne (fight director) and Joseph Toonga (movement director & choreographer) have created is a near perfect recreation of the fight, which is confirmed by clips of the original fight playing behind the boxing ring.

The fight itself is met with many interruptions throughout with backstory and dances, which I found quite distracting. While these moments were well-acted and danced, I would have liked these moments to bookend the fight as not to take away from what a monumentous occassion it truly was.

This experience truly gives you a closer look into the political climate of the time, as well as an in-depth look at the fight itself and what it did for the country. It's cultural richness at it's finest and a unique experience I'll remember for a long time. If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind night out in London, I'd highly recommend Rumble in the Jungle Rematch. 

You can book tickets to Rumble in the Jungle Rematch in London, here.

**photos by James Loxley**

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