• 25 Apr – 19 May 24 Upstairs Theatre
  • 1 hour 10 minutes (no interval)


By Mandela Mathia
Directed by Jessica Arthur

  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 25 Apr – 19 May 24
  • Duration 1 hour 10 minutes (no interval)
  • Content warning

    Lose to Win includes references to death and violence, the use of strobe lighting, haze and loud sounds.

    Should you wish to speak to a member of staff regarding running times, content warnings or any other show related queries, our box office can be contacted on 02 9699 3444.

An extraordinary journey from South Sudan to the Belvoir stage.

“In this country, you think it’s your right to have three meals a day. Me, where I came from? I think it’s a miracle.”

From South Sudan to Egypt to Belvoir St, this is the extraordinary journey of Mandela Mathia. Fleeing his war-torn home as a child, Mandela spent many years journeying, searching, and eventually finding his way to our stage. This is a joyful, poignant solo show, straight from the man who lived it.

A celebration of the South Sudanese community, of resilience, and the power of imagination, Lose To Win is an astonishing modern Australian story.

Few actors bring Mandela’s warmth, depth and breadth to the Belvoir stage. When we were rehearsing The Cherry Orchard and Sami in Paradise he shared anecdotes of his life that would make every jaw drop. Now, in the sure hands of Jessica Arthur’s direction, he’s put his life into a piece of theatre that’s by turns charming and flat-out remarkable. He’s a treasure of the Belvoir stage. – Eamon

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  • Full Price (Adult)^ $74 – $95
  • Mates Rates (Adult)^ $69 – $85
  • Senior* $64 – $85
  • Concession $54 – $75
  • 30-Down# $52 – $67
  • Previews $55 – $60
  • Student Saver $39 – $54

Save with Season Tickets!

With 4-play packages starting from $182* plus a range of ticket types and concessions, there is a package to suit everyone!

*Preview 4-play package

Join Us

~ Bookings of 10+ full price adult tickets receive a $10 discount per ticket.
^ Tickets to Saturday and Sunday performances may have an added $5 surcharge.
* Seniors prices are available with an eligible Australian Government-issued Seniors Card.
† Concession prices are available with a full-time student card, Centrelink Pensioner concession card, Veterans’ Affairs cards, and to members of Actors Equity (MEAA), and ArtsHub, and HotHouse Theatre Subscribers.
# 30-Down and Student Saver prices are available for Previews, Tuesday evening, Wednesday evening, Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday matinees.


  • Mandela Mathia
    image description

    Mandela was born in South Sudan and spent the majority of his childhood years in the north of the country and in Egypt, due to the civil war in Sudan. He arrived in Australia in 2008. Since graduating from NIDA he has appeared in Sami in Paradise, The Cherry Orchard (Belvoir); The Rolling Stone (Outhouse […]

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  • Jessica Arthur
    image description

    Jess Arthur is one of the most prolific main-stage theatre directors. Her productions include The Wolves for Old Fitz and subsequent 2019 Belvoir season. Jess was Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company 2018 – 2022, directing productions Chalkface, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall, Wonnangatta, Banging Denmark, Mosquitos and Home I’m Darling. Jessica also worked as […]

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  • Cast

  • Mandela Mathia
    image description

    Mandela was born in South Sudan and spent the majority of his childhood years in the north of the country and in Egypt, due to the civil war in Sudan. He arrived in Australia in 2008. Since graduating from NIDA he has appeared in Sami in Paradise, The Cherry Orchard (Belvoir); The Rolling Stone (Outhouse […]

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  • Yacou Mbaye
    image description

    Born in Dakar, Senegal, and based in Sydney, Australia since 2007 – Yacou Mbaye is one of Australia’s leading West African drummers and dancers. Yacou plays and specialises in Sabar, the Talking Drum, Dundun and Djembe. Yacou comes from a long line of performers, both musicians and dancers, and has been performing since the age […]

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  • Creatives

  • Keerthi Subramanyam
    Set and Costume Designer
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    Keerthi is a Sydney based set and costume designer for live performance and film. Keerthi is a National Institute of Dramatic Art, BFA (Design for Performance, 2019) graduate, and a member of the Australian Production Design Guild. Keerthi has designed set and costumes for Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, Chewing Gum […]

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  • Brendon Boney
    Sound Designer and Composer
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    Brendon’s work includes At What Cost?, Belvior Theatre, The 7 Stages of Grieving, The Sydney Theatre Company- (Design Associate), Black Ties, Illbijerri Theatre- Musical Director & Composer, Winyanboga Yurringa, Black Cockatoo, Dubboo, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Gods of Wheat Street (ABC1), Redfern Now (SBS), Offspring (Network 10), Winners & Losers (Seven Network), Underbelly Chopper (The Nine […]

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  • Kate Baldwin
    Lighting Designer
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    Kate Baldwin is a disabled, Japanese-Australian lighting designer, who lives and works on the lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. Since graduating from NIDA in 2019, some of her credits as Lighting Designer include: Forgetting Tim Minchin (25A); Girl Band (National Theatre of Parramatta and New Ghosts Theatre Company); Lose […]

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  • Ayah Tayeh
    Dramaturgical Consultant
    image description

    Born on Wurundjeri land and currently working on Gadigal land, Ayah is a stage manager with a passion for new work and diverse storytelling. Her Belvoir credits include: The Boomkak Panto (2021), A Room of One’s Own (2021) and My Brilliant Career (2020). Other credits include: 7 Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner (Darlinghurst Theatre Company), […]

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  • Laura Farrell
    Vocal Coach
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    Laura Farrell (she/her) is a Voice and Dialect Coach living and working on Gadigal land. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Voice from NIDA; a Post Graduate Diploma in Voice from the Victorian College of the Arts; and a Bachelor of Music Theatre from the Victorian College of the Arts. A current lecturer […]

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  • Jen Jackson
    Stage Manager
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    Jen Jackson (she/her) is a Korean-Australian stage manager, living and working on Gadigal land, with a particular passion for new Australian work and a commitment to diversity in theatre. After attending UNSW in a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theatre & Performance, she continued her studies at NIDA with a degree in Technical Theatre & […]

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for schools

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    See this play for:

    Recommended for Years 10 – 12

    Curriculum Links

    Stage 5
    • Appreciating
      (Outcomes 5.3.1, 5.3.2)
    Stage 6
    • Improvisation, Playbuilding, Acting
      (Outcomes P2.1, P3.1, P3.2)
    • Theatrical Traditions and Performance Styles
      (Outcomes P3.1, P3.4)
    • Individual Project: Performance
    Stage 5
    • Viewing, Responding
      (Drama text)
    Stage 6
    • Reading to Write
    • Texts and Human Experiences (Common Module)
      (related text)

    Schools Performances

    All schools performances are followed by a Q&A session with the cast.
    • Fri, 3 May 2024 11:30am
    • Wed, 8 May 2024 11:30am
    • Tue, 14 May 2024 11:30am

    Tickets are only $25 per student with one complimentary teacher ticket for every ten students booked.

    Evening and Matinee Performances

    School groups can book any general public performance. Book our Thursday 1PM matinees for the schools performance price of $25 per ticket, or an evening performance from $45 per student.

    What to expect

    Belvoir creates for a wide audience and our productions may contain mature content. Accurate information about productions including running times and content is available once rehearsals have begun.

    Contact Us

    For more information about our education programs, please get in touch.

    Head of Education Jane May
    Education Manager Stevie Bryant
    +61 (2) 8396 6241

    Book your performance

    Complete this form to request tickets for Lose to Win.
    Want to book multiple productions? Head to our full Schools Booking request

      * Required fields


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