The myths of the Vikings are bursting with intergenerational power struggles, sibling rivalries and the need to deal with the odd monster. This fantastical world of shaky alliances and sudden betrayals provides the unexpected structure for 70 minutes of mythological storytelling in the form of a series of wrestling bouts.

With the roles of gods and giants performed by a troupe of professional wrestlers, the battles of the Norse pantheon are played out with teeth-rattling gusto on a wrestling deck. From the creation of the nine realms to Ragnarök’s day of reckoning, the audience are ringside as Odin and Loki team up against the giants, only to find themselves facing off when alliances inevitably shift.

Writer and wrestler Ed Gamester (who also plays Odin) believes in the art of wrestling as a powerful form of physical theatre, and he created Mythos Ragnarök to showcase its storytelling potential. With his team of professional wrestlers on tour from the UK, this show offers something completely original, bringing wrestling to new audiences and offering a crash course in Norse mythology to wrestling fans.

While it does play a little fast and loose with Viking mythology, that’s understandable given the challenge of compressing these stories into a form easily expressed on a wrestling mat.

Amid the crotch-lifts and body slams, the cast do solid work embodying their characters. Yes, both the fighting and acting are hammed up, but in the context of a wrestling bout, is it possible to be too over-the-top? Odin and Loki have particular dramatic flair, especially the trickster’s development from mischief-maker into his more malevolent self in response to betrayal and loss.

While this production is more for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fans than ancient mythology aficionados, Mythos Ragnarök is exactly what the Fringe is all about – bringing audiences the surprising and unexpected, offering them something experimental or even a little wacky. And what could be more unexpected and a little wacky than the tempestuous relationships of the Norse gods expressed as a series of wrestling bouts?

Full marks for original concept – if you love physical theatre, Mythos Ragnarök brings it in spades.

Mythos Ragnarök is playing at Umbrella Revolution in the Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 17.

Read more 2024 Adelaide Fringe coverage here on InReview.

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