Toronto Fringe: Duotang Chesterfield’s Mystery Theatre Live!

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Yesterday’s after work Fringe treat was a little mystery theatre provided by Duotang Chesterfield’s Mystery Theatre Live! and I ended up being of a mixed mind on the show after it was over.

First and foremost, I love the idea of radio style theatre, and love that twice a month, this group puts out a new comedy/mystery podcast… check out their site here. It’s obviously something they are passionate about, and love to do, and was readily apparent as Josef Beeby, Grace Smith, Leete Stetson, Marika Lapointe, Rebecca Russel and Nicole Byblow took the stage.

Each performance there are two mysteries, and no night is ever the same, so something new everytime you see it (something else I loved)… and they have a great stock of characters and stories. It’s fun to see how the show comes together, the different voices and the craft that goes into it.

The other side of it was that it seemed like a missed opportunity. There were hints of possibility for fun during their ‘broadcast.’ As the actors show up in the studio, there was the possibility of setting up things to play out during the broadcast, rivalries, romances, theft, betrayals… perhaps a mystery of their own that they needed to solve while performing the Live To Air staged mystery. There was the opportunity for a kind of Noises Off backstage hilarity to occur… and the seeds were there for it, introduced when the characters arrive, the looks and moments that are exchanged during the performance…

Now, I realize doing that would complicate the idea of a different performance every night, but it may have given something a little extra to theatre-goers and fans who love the Duotang Chesterfield show, and done right, could have been hilarious!

I think I’ll be checking out their web show for sure, and you can decide for yourself if I was right or wrong, one last time on Sunday at noon. Buy your tickets here.

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