17 April 2019
Emma Rogerson is obsessed with the mystifying Magic Hour
“I hope it’s just, like really fun, really smart and just like a really good time. You know? Not too heavy. But like, still good, you know?” said I to a mate, after a very long day that seemed to bleed into night as I sat mulling over a (grim) plate of potatoes at the Encore.
“I won’t spoil it for you” he said. “But you’re right”.
Quick Duck Theatre’s Magic Hour was absolutely everything I wanted it to be. With a gigantic cast spreading a ton of fun, gender-bended caricatures that interacted with the audience before the show started and an engaging story told through an intricate set, the show wasn’t only a masterclass in improv, but also a clearly well thought out performance. The story was simplistic enough with a fairly easy conclusion, but the actors all did a good job in bringing the characters to life and giving the story energy. While the standard was generally high, I want to throw some particular praise at Abigail Greenwood as Alan Totters (who’s sweet sweet dance moves and generally endearing vibe made me want to be her best friend forever and always plz) and Antonia Strafford-Taylor as Kevin Coprolite (can honestly say I’ve never been more attracted to a fossil expert. Brilliant storyteller with some fab fab improv).
As we were led through the different rooms in order to engage with the actors and solve the mystery, we had the opportunity to listen as our guides asked questions which would give us key info about all the plot points, alongside the chance for the actors to improv and for us to come up with our own lines of inquiry. Really smart choice by the director here, as it perfectly struck the balance between ensuring a narrative and delivering all the necessary exposition alongside empowering the audience and giving them a chance to get involved. If I was feeling negative I might criticize the logic of the ending (no spoilers), but honestly I’m not, because the show put me in such a good mood. Theatre for fun will never lose its importance, and I appreciated it a lot for what it was and when I saw it.
Image credit: Beatrice Debney