The blood and sweat, smell of sawdust, and the monetary fame of the Australian post-war boxing tents. In the 1940s, the rough and tumble rights of the side-show boxing ring became the only way for a young Aboriginal man to make a quid, foster a dream and find a way out and up the ladder. Using bold theatrical style, Up the Ladder evokes a carnival atmosphere and the humour and energy of the old sideshow world.
Up The Ladder was first produced by Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute as a community project. It premiered at the 1990 Adelaide Fringe Festival, winning the Best of the Fringe Award. In 1995 the production was professionally produced by the Melbourne Workers Theatre at the Napier Street Theatre to critical acclaim and packed houses.