Rumble in the Jungle Rematch. Photo by Grant Walker

Rumble in the Jungle Rematch Reviews

Immersive event Rumble in the Jungle Rematch has launched in London at Canada Water’s Dock X, and reviews are coming in.

The experience reimagines the legendary Muhammad Ali and George Foreman boxing match – dubbed The Rumble in the Jungle – nearly 50 years ago, alongside the Zaire 1974 music festival.

Both were iconic moments of history – and the event fuses theatre, sport and technology by live sporting events company Rematch (Wimbledon Rematch 1980).

The creators of this experience include Secret Cinema’s Miguel H Torres as Creative Director; Writer Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, director of the hit West End play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy; and Music Direction by Femi Temowo, acclaimed composer and jazz Gguitarist.

Sharing the role of Muhammad Ali are Akil Young (Standing at the Sky’s Edge) and Kimane Juneau; Alexander Ajuwon (Drug Lord) and Joshua C. Jackson (Black Mirror, Avenue 5); Don King is played by Elliot Rodriguez; Guy Kelton-Jones as James Brown; Anelisa Lamola as Miriam Makeba; Juanita Euka as Celia Cruz.

The wider creative team includes: Malu Ansaldo (Creative Producer); Takis (Set Designer); Alex Payne (Fight Director); Joseph Toonga (Movement Director & Choreographer); Ian William Galloway (Video Design); Salvador Bettencourt Ávila (Video Design); Xana (Sound Designer); Matt Daw (Light Designer); Jessica Cabassa (Costume Designer); Selma Nicholls (Casting Director); and Kate Waters (Development Fight Director).

Rumble in the Jungle Rematch is brought to life by a live cast of actors, with live music, food and drink to recreate the authentic smells and tastes of the time.

Rumble in the Jungle Rematch plays at London’s Dock X in Canada Water from 13 September 2023.

Read reviews from The Times, TimeOut and more, with further reviews to be added.

Book tickets to Rumble in the Jungle Rematch at Dock X in London

Rumble in the Jungle Rematch reviews

The Times

"This Ali and Foreman show is a knockout"

"As with any immersive show, you need to be on the alert during this recreation of the historic 1974 heavyweight bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Part of your brain is always wondering if there’s something else you should be watching in another part of this warehouse-like space. Fomo rules."

"Still, the Rematch team — previously responsible for a meticulous re-enactment of the 1980 Wimbledon final between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe — have managed to turn this corner of Docklands into an atmospheric replica of Kinshasa. The condensed account of the fight itself makes a compelling spectacle."

"Fight enthusiasts will probably feel the final rounds of the showdown are rushed, and such a dramatic contest needs a grander epilogue than the sermon, which, oddly enough, puts the loser in the foreground. But the mythic power of the occasion sweeps you along nonetheless. Ali’s charisma still casts a spell."

Clive Davis, The Times
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The Telegraph

"Immersive restaging of the greatest fight of all time"

"This thoroughly fun production restages the fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, while capturing the political and racial context"

"Against a big-picture backdrop (a paranoid dictator siphoning large parts of his nation’s wealth), this febrile and fun production revels in the larger-than-life characters who peopled the event: from Ali to showman promoter Don King (Elliot Rodriguez) and TV reporter David Frost (Timothy O’Hara), who ropes me into holding the lights for a TV interview."

"Overall, it’s a startling recreation of time and place – a fascinating counterpoint to When We Were Kings. If it falls short of its grandest ambitions – to put personal struggle in a global racial and political context – it’s never less than thoroughly entertaining."

Chris Harvey, The Telegraph
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"Enjoyable immersive theatre romp through George Foreman and Muhammed Ali’s legendary 1974 clash"

"'Theatre’ is kept well out of any of the descriptions, presumably to increase the chances of appealing to a sports-type crowd that might not really be up for the idea of Watching A Play. But it is, basically, recognisable as the vanilla brand of immersive theatre wherein we’re all dumped in a big room together and are allowed to potter about and enjoy cursory interactions with the various actors wandering around."

"Never at any point did I come close thinking I was in Kinshasa, 1974 rather than Canary Wharf, 2023. But, crucially, Miguel Hernando Torres Umba’s production makes the right gestures in that direction."

"Kimane Juneau’s charismatic Ali is good fun, with the right physique and wit – he obviously has all the best lines, but he dispatches them with relish. Joshua C Jackson’s tank-like Foreman feels less well-served by Tristan Tynn-Aiduenu’s text, and often sits around looking a bit constipated, though unquestionably the real man did lack Ali’s formidable capacity for banter."

"Barring a couple of bum notes, this is less a work of historical reenactment, more a respectful and entertaining theatre tribute to the place the Rumble in the Jungle occupies in our cultural imaginations. Maybe not a knockout, but certainly a win on points."

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut
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Rumble in the Jungle Rematch

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📷 Main photo: Rumble in the Jungle Rematch. Photo by Grant Walker

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