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First Fight's first tour

Oliver Sykes - ready for his first tour of his first show
Oliver Sykes - ready for his first tour of his first show - venues below

Touring theatres, libraries and boxing clubs across the north, one-man show Alfie's First Fight tells the story of a shy 12-year-old growing up without a mother and being coached as an amateur boxer by his dad. For 33-year-old Oliver Sykes – who grew up a keen amateur boxer – it's a very personal tale. One of six siblings, he was brought up in poverty in rural Derbyshire. Inspired to aim high by his book-loving dad, he went on to graduate with a first from Lancaster University and via the Jerwood creative bursaries scheme became an intern at Contact theatre in Manchester, where he became a theatre and creative project producer. This show is his first attempt at writing and live performance. "Alfie's First Fight is the kind of tale you don't very often see on stage," said Oliver. "It's a working-class story about a non-traditional family that loves boxing – a story about fighting our fears and being who we always wanted to be. It will appeal to everyone who has ever felt like the underdog but has gone full throttle for the win regardless." Alfie's First Fight is supported by Manchester Libraries, the city council, Read Manchester, Stories of Care, Manchester Children's Book Festival and Z-Arts.

Boxing club dates are to be added soon, but other dates announced so far include: Feb 11: Burnley Youth Theatre; Feb 14: St Helens Moss Bank Library; Feb 14: St Helens The World of Glass Library; Feb 18: Sheffield The Montgomery; Feb 23: Salford Arts Theatre; Feb 25: Wigan The Old Courts; Feb 26: Millom The Beggar’s Theatre; Apr 1: Kendal Brewery Arts; Apr 2: Halifax Square Chapel Centre for the Arts; Apr 5: Leigh, The Way Theatre; Apr 6: Widnes, The Studio; Apr 8: Bury Met; Apr 12, Rochdale Touchstones; Apr 15, Harrogate Library; May 6, Oldham, Stubby’s Boxing Club; May 7, Sale Waterside Arts; Jun 4, Rossendale, Horse + Bamboo; Jun 10, Trafford Libraries; Oct 14 Otley Courthouse; Oct 19-21 Cumbria Arts Out West.

More info and tickets here


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