Reviewer: Simon Topping
Creators Edwin Wright and Tim Dawkins have come up with a brilliant idea for interactive theatre. Based on the Choose Your Own Adventure and Find Your Fate books that most thirty and forty somethings remember from their childhoods, Decide-A-Quest (like Knightmare Live) taps directly into the rich vein of 1980s nostalgia. Here the audience gets to choose the path the characters take on their journey and dictate how the story ends. Or, like the books, choose again if we don’t like how our decisions affect the finale.
Dawkins and Wright are a mischievous pairing; both funny and with commanding stage presence. Dawkins excels as the narrator, conjuring up a Ripping Yarns style act to guide us through our choices and Wright’s character, reminiscent of a cross between Penfold from Danger Mouse and twisted Jack Whitehall is pleasing to watch as he innocently stumbles through the adventure the audience select for him.
Both actors interact with the crowd enthusiastically and in a fully committed way, even when the crowd is dithering and unsure of how to continue in the quest. At one point we boringly choose for Wright’s character to eat a ham sandwich. What follows is one of the funniest moments of the evening.
The visuals are enjoyable to watch and well designed; with a stylistic nod to Terry Gilliam.
There is a series of gleefully awful puns in the show, but it is the well-crafted and assured performances, coming off the back of years of working within children’s theatre, which truly allows the piece to shine.
Runs 24-28 May 2017 at Sweet Dukebox
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