If there’s one thing that brings me joy, it’s hard-boiled detective fiction. If there’s one thing that brings me abject terror, it’s audience participation.
6 Quick Dick Tricks has both in spades.
This is the third outing for paranormal detective, psychic investigator and perennial dick, Dirk Darrow (Tim Motley), where he attempts to solve a murder on a cruise ship using a combination of magic and mentalism.
To be clear: this is much more of a magic show than a mystery. The story is threaded in between the tricks but doesn’t quite connect them and is a little hard to follow. But that’s fine.
If you want a hard-boiled magic show that focuses on story, Motley’s other Fringe show 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick does just that. 6 Quick Dick Tricks is, somewhat obviously, about the tricks. And they’re good ones.
Darrow starts the show by working the crowd in his genre-appropriate accent and trench coat. He does a great job of it, despite a few jokes that didn’t land. There’s also a couple of tricks that didn’t quite get the reaction they probably deserved.
In fact, the pacing was a little confusing at times, between the sporadic plot injections and the show’s slightly anti-climactic climax (although the latter is mostly down to one over-enthusiastic audience member spoiling the big reveal).
But it really felt like the audience was with Darrow throughout the show. Even me, magic-show sceptic and enemy of audience participation, briefly got up to take part in a trick. And I enjoyed it.
That is my ultimate takeaway from this show: I enjoyed it. It was entertaining. It did exactly what it set out to do and it made me want to see Motley’s other Dirk Darrow shows.
And if you’re a fan of hard-boiled detective fiction or magic or, for some reason, audience participation, then maybe you should too.