Performers Karin McCracken and Arlo Gibson begin by gleefully securing a foam mat to the stage with duct-tape. Their terminally delightful energy makes moving house seem fun. Behind them stands a drinks cart holding champagne flutes, a bottle of bubbly and a cassette player boasting throwback tunes.
Knee-pad clad and arena laid out, the pair begin to wrestle. Try as she might, Karin cannot pin Arlo. A simultaneous clap signals the start of a new match. Again and again, they wrestle with the same result.
I notice myself and other audience members tense during the matches. I willed for the power balance to dip in Karin’s favour the way you lean when your bowling ball is drifting towards the gutter.
The physically demanding spells of wrestling are broken up by short stand up segments. These two have energy in spades. Despite apparently having left it all on the mat, the performers spring into lively retellings of Greek mythology.
Karin and Arlo are great comics. The pair take turns discussing the unfortunate origins of the Minotaur and Maeda. Here, their charisma beams. Karin in particular delivers quick quips to unexpected audience responses.
After catching their breath, the performers return to the wrestling ring. For the sake of variety I would have liked to see the two tackle physical tasks beyond wrestling. Though the finale promises a surprising spectacle I don’t wish to spoil!
What did it all mean? I left thinking about how a person is not the sum of someone else’s story. To Karin the mythical Maeda is a ruthless, revenge-focused villain while Arlo recalls her brilliance. Karin may struggle to pin Arlo but she succeeds him in other obstacles. You can be stronger in more ways than one. What did you think?
Expect anything but the standard. A fantastic start to the Fringe Festival. Catch Standard Acts at BATS at 7pm until Friday 26 February. Book your tickets here.