Edinburgh Fringe: Wrestling fever heads to Edinburgh as knockout show comes to the Edinburgh Festival in 2022
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From Camille O'Sullivan to The Faulty Towers Dining Experience, the musicals Six and Pet Shop Boys’ Musik, to comedy with Frisky and Mannish and hard-hitting drama with Trainspotting Live, the Evening News has tipped many a Fringe must see show first, and I'm proud of that.
So which show's will see tickets flying out the door come August in 2022? Well, there's the obvious one, Sir Ian McKellen's Hamlet but the real challenge is finding productions that might otherwise go under the radar. From the offerings revealed so far, more than 3,000 shows and counting are heading to Edinburgh apparently, I'm going to take a punt on this one that caught my eye this week, Mythos: Ragnarok, after all, it's not every day a Fringe show bills itself as a 'high impact drama in which theatre meets wrestling'.
At first glance, wrestling and theatre may seem unlikely bedfellows, or perhaps they don't. I suppose it depends on whether you're a dyed in the wool grapple fan or one of the many who believe the 'sport' is no more than an exercise in choreography, interactive physical theatre at it’s most extreme and entertaining.
However, if wrestling automatically conjures up images of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks or Hulk Hogan and The Rock (depending on how old you are), few can't have been carried away by the gripping phenomenon at some point.
The press release for Mythos: Ragnarock poses the question, “There’s no question the style of stage combat used in pro wrestling is phenomenal. Yet it is never used in theatre, why?”
Actually, it has been in the past, Clare Luckham's 1978 play Trafford Tanzi, set in a wrestling ring, played Liverpool and Manchester before becoming a smash hit in London in 1980 - the actors having to wrestle and act in equal measures.
Mythological Theatre and their unique troupe of actors, wrestlers, comedians and stunt performers will no doubt hope to have a repeat of that success with Mythos: Ragnarock, which re-imagines classic Norse myths, weaving together ancient tales to create something completely new .
The show follows half-brothers Odin and Loki as they battle primordial giants, rival Gods and Goddesses, and their own ambitions in their attempts to conquer the Nine Nordic Worlds and delay the apocalypse. Written by Ed Gamester, it will be played on a three-sided stage that puts the audience up close to the action for the 60 minute performance.
Like McKellen's Hamlet, which combines theatre, an octogenarian actor and ballet dancers to retell the story of the young Danish prince, so Mythos: Ragnarock's eclectic mix of disciplines makes for the perfect experimental ‘Fringe’ collaboration and I have a sneaking suspicion it could well be one of this year's hot tickets.
Catch it at the Gilded Balloon, Patter Hoose, August 3-28, tickets here