‘with great fight choreography, a DJ-augmented party atmosphere, plenty of amusing post-modern quippage from Mark Rice-Oxley’s referee, plus the sheer WTF factor of the whole spectacle, Tanzi Libre is a fun night out and an enjoyably bonkers way to christen the Playhouse’s new space.’ Andrzej Lukowski,Time Out

‘Big, bold and Brechtian…Ellie Jones’s production has a visceral power… you watch with a certain awe Olivia Onyehara’s progress as Tanzi from victimhood to victory and her mastery of the Lucha Libre wrestling style, which at one point involves her using her legs to headlock her opponent’ Michael Billington, The Guardian

‘The ever-surprising Southwark Playhouse… stunning wrestling holds and throws, and plenty of invitations to hoot and cheer Tanzi (an amazingly lithe Olivia Onyehara), Platinum Sue, Dean Rebel and the rest.’ Libby Purves, The Times

Lucha libre, the flamboyant Mexican wrestling style, comes to Southwark Playhouse for its opening production of Tanzi Libre – an updated version of Claire Luckham’s hit West End show Trafford Tanzi.

Watch an all-singing, all-wrestling cast tell Tanzi’s sensational story, complete with original songs and mixing from a live DJ.

In a South London wrestling ring, Tanzi and her love interest, Dean Rebel, have more than just their titles to fight for when they’re pitted against each other for the ‘fight of the decade’. Follow her life from the moment she was born until she falls in love, discovers the realities of the wrestling world and invents her signature move, the deadly Venus Flytrap. Tanzi Libre is a touching and thrilling story that has delighted audiences around the world. This production, directed by former Artistic Director Ellie Jones, is the first major London revival in over 30 years.

The original production, Trafford Tanzi, premiered at Contact Theatre in Manchester in 1980 before playing at the Edinburgh Festival and touring. It played at West End’s Mermaid Theatre starring Toyah Wilcox in the title role and then later, on Broadway, as Tuebrook Tanzi: The Venus Fly Trap, starring Debbie Harry with Andy Kaufman as the Referee.

Suitable for 12+. The show contains strobe lighting.

Cast and Creative
Creative Team

Ellie Jones

Martin Thomas

Lighting Designer
Tim Mascall

Nathan Palmer

Anthony Coleridge


Okorie Chukwu
Meryl Fernandes
Patricia Gannon
Mark Rice-Oxley
Olivia Onyehara
Kazeem Tosin Amore