Wrestling Against Expectations: I'm Okayfabe

4 stars

Attempting to be the perfect woman can feel like a wrestle. Rather than wrestle another flesh-and-blood person, though, you’re wrestling yourself and the many – oh so many – impossible standards set for the female gender.

In I’m Okayfabe, two women with a penchant for wrestling take to the ring to pin each other, and what it is to be a woman, down.

 Image courtesy of Fake Heat

Image courtesy of Fake Heat

Janina and Josephine embody the archetypes that our society seems intent on, and insistent about, confining women to. As they engage in a zealous competition, the crowd chants, cheers, boos and heckles.

Wrestling with unbridled enthusiasm, the two performers embody the ‘face’ and ‘heel’ personas with exceptional comedic and acting skill. Proclaiming to be terrible at being women, they challenge the notion of ideal womanhood as we watch on and promptly see exactly how this is not an issue of their own making.

Seeing these women genuinely wrestle each other is an absolute joy. They’re enthralling, riotously funny, and charismatic.

While the commentators of the evening narrate the event with puns and snide remarks, the audience gasps and cheers as Janina and Josephine put each other in wrist locks, launch into headscissor takedowns that end up as octopus holds, and even perform the rare pregnant variant of the inverted Indian deathlock facelock.

In case you don’t already know, these are all legitimate entertainment wrestling moves and the performance is as hilarious as the move names sound.

Twitter makes an appearance in this show, too, and serves as an all too accurate device to depict the pressure of expectations and the types of criticism levelled at women online.

I’m Okayfabe is a brilliantly crafted hour of silly, dumb fun with an exceptionally smart narrative and the most remarkable shooting star press move that’s ever been performed by a baby. Seeing is believing, and you’re sure to believe it.

Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.


JASMINE SEABROOK-BENSON