Thursday 19 October 2023

Mythos: Ragnarok review (Melbourne Fringe Festival)

Ancient rivalries are brought to life in wrestling show Mythos: Ragnarok. We follow Odin, the Norse God of War and of the Dead and his half-brother Loki as they battle giants, gods, enemies, and each other, to create the world of Asgard. It's a straightforward story which doesn't bring a huge amount of excitement but that is where the wrestling comes in.

The cast is made up entirely of professional wrestlers, and while some of the acting is not the most convincing, it's the spectacle of the sport we are here for. It's fascinating being quite up close to the bouts and anticipating what move will come next. Precise choreography ensures there is no risk of (serious) injury when people are thrown onto the ground, body slammed or have their limbs bent in unnatural positions, and the ensemble are clearly skilled and giving it their all.

It's just a shame that the seating bays for the audience was not as well thought through, with everyone having to look up to the stage and ring. While this gave the performers a more God-like physique with us mere mortals staring up at them, the downside is we didn’t get to see them writhing, rolling, and being smacked down on the floor. We missed a lot of the action from the vantage point we had.

In a show like this, it’s not a surprise that the story will play second fiddle to the wrestling, but there is room for tightening and refining the narrative. There’s too much exposition taking place and the second half feels like a slog as we face expected and predictable developments for the sake of a good fight.

As a first-time watcher of live wrestling, Mythos: Ragnarok in an entertaining evening – even with the unfavourable seating. But this isn’t a wrestling match, it’s a theatre show so additional attention is required to make the story as compelling as the battles.

Show Details

Venue: Testing Grounds, Market Sq, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
Season: until 29 October | Tues - Sat 7:20pm, Sun 6:20pm
Duration: 70 minutes
Tickets: $40-$45 Full | $35 Concession | $30 Hump Day Wednesday
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival


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