This solo offering contains some varied ingredients in its mix: a pack of cards, a confidence trickster, a keyboard, some magic, audience participation and a love interest.
That’s a lot of material to fuse together in a 50 minute show. For it to work it would need a strong linear narrative able to grab the attention of the audience and carry it on its journey.
The problem here is that the story, in its attempt to blend the various elements, tends instead to meander.
Matt Penny has set a very difficult task for himself in this ambitious show. Of course by its very nature the Fringe invites artists to come forward with innovative, daring experiments, and this is without question a brave attempt.
The fact that it doesn’t quite gel is due mostly to the disparity of the material. There is also a hesitancy of approach that in places tends to distract from a full audience engagement.
Some elements of the show worked better than others. The audience seemed well disposed to engage in the card tricks and cheerfully accepted the invitation to participate. And the notes on the keyboard were both a reflection and an antidote to the character’s inner struggles.
But the questions still remain as to the both the direction and to the amorphous nature of the whole work.
Find the Lady needs to find more cohesion and a stronger, more assured performance. The opening night of most shows is often nervy.
It is safe to assume that this aspect will improve, in which case you might do well to consider spending 50 minutes with the affable Matt Penny and his bag of magic.