Ragnarokkr Adelaide Fringe 2020★★★★

Variegated Productions and Holden Street Theatres. Holden Street Theatres. 20 Feb 2020


OMG! I didn’t expect this at Holden Street Theatres. You know you are in for something different when the ushers are handing out ear plugs.


Ragnarøkkr is Old Norse for their myth of the ultimate destruction of the gods in a cataclysmic battle with evil, out of which a new order will arise. Götterdämmurung is Robert Wagner’s opera within the Ring Cycle on the same topic, also present in Revelations as Armageddon.


St John Cowcher and his co-writers and musicians Gracie Smith and Joe Paradise Lui manifest a cast of hundreds with unrelentingly loud and superbly performed heavy metal drums and guitar that back Cowcher’s impressive stage presence and vocals. And out of the orchestrated chaos a magnificent narrative emerges.


The energy never lets up from go to whoa. Cowcher wows wearing an anthropomorphic animal design that makes him larger than life. In contrast, looking more like a check-out chick than a metal head, Gracie Smith compels you into the gothic Norse underworld with her authority over the drums. Paradise Lui electrifies the air with skillful fretwork and faultless fingering. Yet Cowcher’s vocals clearly cut through the aural pandemonium under Chris Donnelly’s dark lighting.


A rock opera loudly and evocatively rendered in burnished metal. If it’s not your cup of Bundy, maybe Fringe is a good time to broaden your horizons.


David Grybowski


When: 21 Feb to 1 Mar

Where: Holden Street Theatres

Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au