Gamarjobat: Boxer

To celebrate their tenth year at the Fringe Japanese comedy duo Gamarjobat have reprised their debut show Gamarjobat: Boxer. The show is part homage and part pastiche of Rocky performed completely in mime. What emerges is a poignant, visually dazzling and very funny story that manages to transcend its clichéd tropes through sheer exuberance. The pair’s constant energy and inventiveness is a marvel to behold.

The combination of pathos and pratfalling can be exquisite.

The duo are electric onstage. The set opens with a blistering array of clowning and magic all delivered with an anarcho-punk silliness that would give The Young Ones a run for their money. The general technique is to perform a magic trick and then ‘accidentally’ reveal the method behind it. This kind of deconstructionist clowning allows the duo to beautifully toe the line between magic and comedy.

After this warm-up the story proper begins. It’s the classic boxing story. A great boxer has hung up his gloves having been knocked from the top spot. He spends his afternoons in bars, drinking his life away, barely able to afford the next whiskey. One day he meets a girl. They fall in love. They need money for the wedding. Guess who has to step back into the ring and prove he still has what it takes? The formulaic nature of the story actually allows for the broadest possible scope for physicality and comedy. For instance, the story begins with a stunning slow motion boxing fight where one man motions both the hitting and the being-hit. There is low-level lighting and all we hear is ba-dum ba-dum on the soundtrack. It seems to go on forever like the opening of Raging Bull. The effect is utterly hypnotic.

The combination of pathos and pratfalling can be exquisite. One scene sees our hero throw his beloved to the floor because she is barring the way to the boxing ring. There’s a sharp intake of breath in the audience. He regrets it instantly. He knows he’s a monster for he’s hurt the only thing that matters to him. And then trying to make a dignified exit he fumbles embarrassingly with the doorknob because he’s still wearing his boxing gloves. It’s a very ordinary moment of human silliness present in even the most dramatic of situations.

Problems do arise with certain sections beginning to drag. Because the story lacks novelty, as soon as it loses any energy audience attention instantly begins to flag. Certain scenes just slightly overstay their welcome. But these are very much exceptions to a show that is for the most part a rollicking ride.

A show for all ages and all languages; this is universal comedy of an extremely high order. 

Reviews by Rory Mackenzie

Pleasance Dome

Unmythable

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Girl from Nowhere

★★★★
Gilded Balloon

Allie

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Boris: World King

★★★★★
C venues - C nova

Some Thing New

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

A+E

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

To celebrate a decade since their Fringe debut Gamarjabot are back with Boxer, their stunning breakthrough show inspired by the blockbuster movie Rocky. They have wowed audiences all over the world with their unique and hilarious silent double act. Their shows are truly universal and appeal to every age. 'This Japanese physical comedy duo are a cross between Laurel and Hardy and Madness. Kids and adults will love their breathtakingly brilliant slapstick clowning. I can't wait to take my children, who will talk about this for the rest of their lives' (Stewart Lee, Times, 2013).

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets