Musclebound

3
Seen at The Front Room, Weston-super-Mare
By Becky - 5th Mar 2024

Actor and playwright Rosy Carrick’s latest one-woman show is a fun bit of nostalgia for us eighties babies, but it’s not for the more prudish amongst us.

Growing up, Carrick was obsessed with action heroes such as Arnie, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme and so on. I am also dealing with a life long Arnie obsession, so I was excited for a show that promised a deep dive into female empowerment and sexuality with a healthy side dose of eighties bodybuilders.

Carrick frames the play around discussions of sex with her young adult daughter, Olive, expertly played on screen by Courtney Cox in a series of stills taken from Masters of the Universe.

Olive is contemplating having sex for the first time while her mum, Carrick, is looking for the same satisfaction in her sexual relationships that she had only found watching Ludgren getting tourtured on screen.

Carrick’s quest takes her to comic-con and Stateside to the Arnold classics but ultimately the realisation of what’s been lacking lies a lot closer to home.

Carrick’s show is less of a play and more of a talk. There’s plenty of moments that raise a smile and a few laughs, but for me it lacked the ability to let me immerse myself fully because there’s no actual story being played out- just told to us. The movie clips interspersed throughout are very well done, and while I was interested to see Carrick’s personal photos from meeting Arnie and Dolph, it only served as a further reminder that all we were really watching was a woman retelling what she’s been up to the last few years.

Personally I liked that she is so open and honest about sex, and her relationship with her daughter reminded me of my own with mine, but the gentleman next to me was a little squirmish. That’s on him though, since the show is billed as being frank and honest.

I’d have liked more acting, a lot more Arnie, and more “show don’t tell,” but Carrick’s tale is amusing and identifiable if, like me, you’re a woman of the same age navigating raising a daughter to adulthood.

Becky Fuller


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