Oliver Sykes
Alfie’s First Fight

Featuring boxing action, surprising plot twists, compelling characters and an inspiring boy-­hero, this funny and heart-warming show is guaranteed to pack a punch – for children aged 5+ and their grown-ups.

If you liked Roald Dahl’s Danny Champion of the World, the books of Jacqueline Wilson and the Rocky Movies, then you’ll love this ‘edge-of-your-seat storytelling’ (Manchester Libraries).

Inspired by Oliver’s own experiences growing up without a mum and being coached as an amateur boxer by his dad, the show centres itself around shy twelve-year-old Alfie, as he decides to go in search of his older brother, Jacob, when he disappears moments before an all-important boxing match…

On the surface, it’s a simple adventure story. But it’s also about love, loss, family and learning how to fight for what you want.

This is a touring production programmed by The Montgomery as part of our Monty Makers strand of work, which presents high-quality, affordable children’s theatre shows.

About Oliver Sykes

Oliver Sykes is an award-winning Arts Practitioner and Children’s Writer/Performer. He is one of six kids and was brought up on a council estate in Derbyshire by his single parent dad.

Over the past decade, Oliver has worked as a producer, mentor and creative collaborator, supporting the early careers of many artists whose voices are under-represented in the Arts, including Sophie Willan and Jackie Hagan.

In 2015, Oliver began working as Producer at Stories Of Care, a non-profit writing organization, founded by Sophie Willan. His role soon evolved from producing to becoming a core member of the creative team, and it was during this project that Oliver discovered his natural talent and flair for children’s writing.

Oliver has since studied with The Golden Egg Academy and become a Supported Artist with Z-Arts and Manchester Children’s Book Festival. He was shortlisted for Penguin’s 2020 WriteNow Programme and in 2021 he secured mentorship with Dominic Berry and Phil Earle.

In 2020, Oliver was selected as Lead Artist for Stories Of Care. In 2021, he led the Stories Of Care team to support an exceptional group of new and exciting young writers from low-income, single parent and care-experienced backgrounds, to write their first short story for children. Stories Of Care’s hotly anticipated second anthology Tales of the Bold, the Brave and the Beautiful will be released on June 4th 2022.

On May 12th 2022, Oliver will also release his dazzling debut piece of Illustrated Fiction, Alfie’s First Fight, inspired by his experience growing up in a single parent low income family of boxers.

Oliver will also embark on a national tour of the children’s theatre adaptation of his debut novel, created and performed by him, and directed by Dominic Berry. The show will tour to libraries, boxing clubs and theatres across the UK, with a robust and unique outreach package, ring-fenced for children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Age Guidance: 5+ year olds and their families
Running Time: 55 minutes (no interval)
Dates & times

18 February • 11:00
18 February • 14:00

Tickets for this event are sold through our box office.

Tickets are available online 24 hours a day, by clicking the button above.

Telephone and in-person ticket sales are open Monday to Friday 12pm – 5pm, and 1 hour before each performance.

Tel: 0114 327 3456


The venue does not currently have wheelchair access, and there are 3 stairs from pavement to foyer, and 32 stairs from foyer to theatre. We will be undertaking the building work to install a lift in 2023, but there is not currently a lift available at the venue.

We are dedicated to making your experience at The Montgomery as accessible as possible. If you or your child have any specific access requirements please contact info@themontgomery.org.uk and we will be more than happy to help make your visit more enjoyable.

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