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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Brighton 2012 arrow Ragnarok: The Weird of the Gods
Ragnarok: The Weird of the Gods
Published on Monday, 07 May 2012

5 stars

Upstairs at Three and Ten (venue website)
5-6, 26-27 May, 3:00pm-4:00pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

In Ragnarok: Weird of the Gods, John Hinton, surely one of Brighton’s hardest-working performers, sets out to tell the story of the end of the world. According to Norse myth. As a musical. Playing all the parts himself. And he pulls off this daring feat brilliantly.

It helps that he has some very catchy songs, which stick in the brain like he’d fired them there with a glue gun. It also helps that he has all kinds of charming animations to illustrate his story. And he has hats; the hats helped a lot too.

Norse mythology is a good choice for a show like this. It’s familiar enough – right there in the days of the week – and yet, alien enough that the story is still surprising. Very surprising. I suppose any set of supernatural beliefs sounds loopy the first time you encounter them, but this story seemed to have an added dimension of blood-thirsty surrealism, which made everything feel fresh and even, strangely, very modern.

If anything, Hinton seemed to be offering too much in places. The energy required to keep all his show’s balls in the air must be immense, and the stretch showed from time to time. Some of the song lyrics were garbled, which is a shame, since the songs’ witty words were often particular highlights. But that feels like a quibble in such a genuinely imaginative, bonkers show.

It even ended with deep theological speculation set to music, about whether human beings are predisposed to create these types of mythologies to understand the mystifying world around them. I’m not sure about that – but after beguiling me with yet another diverse, engaging show, I’m starting to wonder if John Hinton can possibly really exist. Superb.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.