Brighton Fringe: Rosy Carrick

It’s about me getting to grips with my childhood erotic obsession with watching hyper-muscular men being tortured by their male antagonists in 1980s action films. So it’s about ‘musclebound men’, and (my favourite porn category) ‘bound muscle’.” Already I know no one is reading this because anyone who was reading, right now they’re on the Fringe website, credit card in hand, looking up dates. Anyway. Where were we? “Bound muscle. but it’s also about me, as a woman, having been “bound” to this idea of the power of macho men all my life – and about what is at stake in maintaining that idea. It’s less niche than it sounds – I promise!”

Rosy is – and I say this from a completely biased point of view – extraordinary. She’s a  doctor – no, not that kind – and did her PhD on the Russian poet Mayakovsky, for which obviously she learnt Russian. She’s the Queen of The Poetry Slam, a performance poet and was behind “Hammer and Tongue” (which The Guardian said “reinvented the medium for the hip hop generation”). She also, it seems, has a bit of a fascination for men who have spent too long in enclosed rooms lifting up lumps of metal and then putting them down again. 

Where did the fascination with musclebound hunks come from? 

“Well, torturing musclemen was a major cultural obsession in the 80s, but the thing that really got me hooked was He Man: Masters of the Universe, starring Dolph Lundgren, which I first saw when I was five. There was something so powerful and inherently sexual about watching this impossibly muscular body being publicly stripped, whipped and humiliated. Of course, the beefcakes in these films always escape – so the function of the torture scenes is only to reinforce their strength – and yet they have to go through this performance of weakness to get there. Being captured, having one’s clothes removed – being objectified like that – is generally what happens to women in films, but for women it always implies a loss of power whereas for these men it only seems to make them stronger. Musclebound charts my mission to get to the heart of that power, to unpick the politics of it and to channel it into my own life by any means (and I really do mean any means!) possible.

By any means possible. What kinds of means are we talking about here?

You’ll have to come along and find out! I’m a Grade-A stalker, and I got some damn good stalking in on this project – from cruising my local bodybuilding gym all the way to the dizzy heights of Hollywood!

So who are we talking about here. Who are the top three chunks of hunk? 

“The top three would have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone. Stallone has a very different kind of physique – he’s naturally quite slight compared to the other two – but he sure knows how to take a beating in submissive style (see Rambo: First Blood Part II for some great examples).” 

Where and when can we see the show?

It’s on at The Rialto theatre, at 6.30pm on 20th, 21st and 22nd May. See you there!

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