We sat down with any company/artist presenting at Ottawa Fringe (starting June 19th!) who wanted to chat about their upcoming shows. We gave them three minutes (approximately) to make their best case as to why we should pick them. We called it speed dating. From now through the day before Fringe starts we’re choosing one local, one national, and one international artist from those we talked to and previewing them here. Today’s international pick is Tim Motley’s 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick: A Dirk Darrow Investigation.
Australian comedian Tim Motley brings a unique blend of courageous crime-fighting and mind-blowing magic tricks to his film-noir inspired one-man show about a bank heist. As he describes it, “Think Sin City meets X-Files performed by Harry Connick Jr. having a nervous breakdown.” Expect audience participation, mindreading, murder, and more puns than you thought could fit into an hour as you tour the gritty streets with characters such as Ruby Knockers Carbunkle, Percy the Skullcracker, and Stewie the Snitch. This “live one-man comedy film noir magical murder mystery” is sure to be unlike anything else you’ll see at the Fringe.
What I Liked About 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick
Fans of the Fringe remember Dirk Darrow from his “Not Completely Serious Supernatural Investigator” show two years ago. If you loved that show, you can be excited at the return of our beloved bumbling P.I. from Down Under. If you hated that show, you should at least come out to see how Motley copes with his very first Canadian BYOV and the sometimes baffling audience contributions that arise. And if you missed NCSSI, don’t worry: 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick features the same character but is a stand-alone piece.
What intrigues me most about this show is its heritage. Motley explained that his first Dirk Darrow show was invented around mind-reading and tricks while his new creation is based on a short story (The Big Knockover) by Dashiell Hammett. While I enjoyed NCSSI, it was clearly meant to showcase Motley’s skills as a comedian and magician first and foremost, so I am eager to see how he deals with a slightly more complex narrative. The enthusiasm he has for the material is evident although he admits that his interpretation being somewhat loose and ludicrous.
Also loose and ludicrous (in the best sense of the word) is the way that Motley interacts with the audience. One thing I love about shows with high audience participation is how it’s never the same show twice. The same could be said about any well-acted show I suppose, but in this case it’s literal as audience members and ideas change dramatically each night. Watching someone on the top of their game improvise and adapt to the inclusion of diverse audience participants and find a way back to where their show was intended to go in the first place is always a real treat.
After getting rave reviews and selling out shows across Fringe Festivals worldwide, you can be sure that Motley is at the top of his game and well-equipped to handle whatever the audience throws at him. If you don’t get pulled out of your seat, you’ll be at least sitting on the edge of it as you try to figure out whodunit.
For more information about 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick: A Dirk Darrow Investigation including show time and how to buy tickets, visit the show page on the Ottawa Fringe Festival website: http://ottawafringe.com/tickets/2-ruby-knockers-1-jaded-dick-a-dirk-darrow-investigation/