Fringe Toronto: 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick – A Dick Darrow Investigation

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At the Factory Theatre, Tim Motley, hailing from Australia, took the stage to take his audience on a case, inspired by a Dashiel Hammett tale. Dressed as a threadbare gumshoe of the 40s, Motley brings his alter-ego, Dick Darrow into reality before our eyes, as we are slingshotted back to 40s era dialogue, and word play, mixed with modern-day puns and word play.

Motley’s Darrow is a clever investigator whose internal monologue is as hard-boiled as they come and he lays on the hyperbole as thick as marmalade and honey on a piece of Texas toast in July.

As the audience is pulled into the investigation, it is rife with audience participation after all, so be warned, Darrow demonstrates his investigation skills, card tricks and love for bad, nigh on groan worthy puns.

The show moves along fast, as he invites the audience to join in the fun. The jokes and the hyperbole come fast and furious, eliciting applause and laughter as he puts himself and the audience through their paces. And while there are times when the monologues seem rushed, Motley knows when to take a breather to let his audience catch up to him. And also knows how to improvise when needs must.

The audience I sat with, ate it up, and there is no denying the infectious nature of the story and the portrayal. Motley knows how to play to the audience and delights in their reactions, even the unplanned ones. The show ended with a standing ovation, and an absolutely delighted Motley and audience.

If you fancy yourself a fan of the genre, love comedic asides and brilliant moments with the audience check this one out. Motley takes the stage again Monday July 6, Wednesday July 8, Thursday July 9, Friday July 10 and Saturday July 11. Get your tickets here.

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