Ben Ross

Staff Writer

Bout follows the story of Jackie (creator Stephanie Carpanini), an actor-come-boxer with a lot to prove. Put through the wringer by life, she mistakenly walks into a boxing gym and can’t – or won’t – back down from yet another challenge. Instead, she takes on her unrealized dream – “doing something incredible with her life” – and she and “Coach” Manny (a versatile Matthew Gouveia) set to work.

Carpanini and Gouveia are bursting with energy, and they need it – they run, hit, sweat and curse their way through the hour-long show, nary a water break in sight. Their physical feats are doubly impressive when they pause, chests heaving, to engage emotionally as well.

This site-specific show takes place inside Sully’s Boxing Gym, a major character in its own right. The rough floors, posters on the walls and faint smell of sweat are foreign and romantic (it’s just like in the movies!). The audience sits on three sides of an authentic boxing ring, and the action often takes place right in our laps.

For a powerful and innovative theatre experience, add Bout to your Fringe list. You won’t be disappointed.

Bout plays until July 11 at Sully’s Boxing Gym (1024 Dupont) as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. For more information visit