Granted, I’m no Fringe veteran, but I think I speak on behalf of the 800 or so screaming, sweating people who packed out the Pleasance Grand last night when I say that Max Olesker’s brainchild, The Wrestling, was one of the greatest experiences in the history of the Edinburgh Festival.
We arrived half an hour late after finishing our own show, and were escorted to our seats. Right on the front row, courtesy of the amazing Beth O’Brien who, along with Max and Ivan, had organised this insanity. This chaos.
We sat back, and were treated to just the most bizarre spectacle any of us had witnessed. Max, formerly Max Voltage, the Human Dynamo and the youngest ever professional wrestler in the country at one time, called upon five or six of his wrestling buddies (one of them the biggest man I’ve ever seen) and teamed them up with some of the best comedians on the Fringe to create two hours of comedy wrestling madness.
Team Kane, lead by Gimp fan Russell Kane (see how I slipped that in there?) saw the likes of Colin Hoult as Thwor, the God of Thwunder, teamed up with Dan “The Hammer” Head, and Patrick Monahan, who didn’t actually wrestle, but ran about a lot. They faced off against Team Riches, Adam Riches ‘Heel’ side, which included a surprisingly skilled Humphrey Ker as The Vinyl Solution and Tom ‘Explosenthal’ Rosenthal, who looked more like a gimp than any of us have ever done. Brendon Burns and Andrew Maxwell commentated, or at least took the piss out of Patrick Monahan. Matthew Crosby tried to keep order as did ring announcer Nick Helm.
The night culminated in Max performing what I believe is called a Senton Bomb, a sort of backflip off the top rope onto his opponents, and fracturing his left ankle.
The good guys won, the bad guys lost and the night was an unmitigated, mental, ridiculous success. Whatever happens to poor old Max for the rest of the run (I hear that his and Ivan’s show Holmes and Watson, which you should definitely go and see, contains a pretty vigorous Charlston. Not ideal with only one working foot) he can at least be happy with the fact that he has created what is sure to be an Edinburgh institution.
And we’re all genuinely proud to have been able to say “I was there”.
PS apparently my blogs read as if they were written by Alan Bennett. I don’t think he knows what a gimp is, though...