fringe: dirk darrow - not completely serious supernatural investigator

dirk darrow ncssiIf you go to enough Fringe shows that have some degree of audience participation, and you never get picked, you start to feel somehow immune...

Which is unwise, because tonight I confessed to shooting Professor Snodgrass!

Okay, so it turns out that I didn't actually do it... but I did end up on stage with Dirk Darrow, NCSSI (Not Completely Serious Supernatural Investigator).

I was in a police lineup, I was hooked up to a lie detector, I was tickled with a Russian, Spanish, Peruvian feather (or something, the names are a bit of a blur)... in fact I was on stage for most of the climax of the show.

Which possibly colours my review a little bit, since I wasn't just watching, I was taking part.

The show is equal parts 1940's detective story, magic/"psychic" show and comedy, and manages to serve all three masters very well.

Sure some of the jokes are incredibly cheesy, but they still make you laugh... and there are a few unexpected ones in there too which made me laugh (coz who doesn't like maths and physics jokes... okay, just me then).

And Dirk Darrow (aka Tim Motley) is every inch the hardboiled 1940's gumshoe. Plus it doesn't hurt that he's a very handsome gentleman (I was originally going to go with "as cute as a box of puppies", but I don't know that that fits the gumshoe image)... the posters for the show really don't do him the least little bit of justice.

And the magic/"psychic" part? Well, it's not as mind boggling as Philip Escoffey, and I may have worked out a number of the tricks or seen the slight of hand in action because I was sitting close to the stage... but you know what... I actually don't care.

While I may have an idea about the theory behind a number of the tricks, it's still the fun of watching them be performed. And I was entertained by it all... plus that's part of what I love about that kind of show... trying to work out how everything was done.

There's actually only one trick that I'm 100% certain of how it was done... and that's only because Dirk Darrow and I, completely coincidentally, happen to have the same watch. Like, the completely identical watch. The watch that was only delivered yesterday and that I happened to be wearing to the show.

What are the odds?

Oh, and apologies to Dirk/Tim.... I'm just really, really bad at telling the time on an analogue watch at the best of times... but under pressure I just go all to pieces. Sorry about that... and I really have no idea how I got the time I did. Hopefully I made up for it by playing the murder suspect at the end of the show.

That really was the most fun out of the whole show... I'm not sure there was an actual trick in how I ended up being there... I think it felt like it was a big complicated trick but it was really just some audience manipulation and one tiny trick. But it was a whole lot of fun.

I don't want to give away any more of my experience as the "murderer" for people who haven't seen the show...

But I will say that there's nothing quite like coming out to a room full of strangers, hooked up to a "lie detector" while being interrogated by a faux 1940's detective.

Also, did I mention Dirk was a very attractive gentleman?

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