Garkin Productions hits the stage at this year’s Ottawa Fringe Festival with Dicky Dicky, a sketch comedy featuring Dave Brown and Ray Besharah in a variety of outlandishly comic sketches.
The show is quite simple in terms of its design and relies heavily on the capable talents of Brown and Besharah to bring the audience along with the show as it moves forward. After Brown and Besharah switch the simple set around in a half-lit slapstick dance, the title of the next sketch is introduced by a recording. These are actually quite important because, as the introduction message informs the audience at the start, you get to choose which of the sketches you liked best by voting at the end.
I won’t discuss any details of the sketches here, but the performances of Brown and Besharah show great timing and presence on stage. Brown especially shines in this latter respect, developing his characters in an instant with changes in physicality and voice that enable the audience to engage with the comic material in the best possible light. The pair indeed posses a clear chemistry on stage that makes the performance distinctly watchable, no matter how you feel about the content of the sketches.
The sketches themselves are unique and provide the actors with numerous opportunities to produce hilarity. The Patent Office was probably the most dramatically complex, relying on a few distinct layers of tension for its humour as well as the pure-comic skill of the performers. The meta-sketch at the show’s conclusion was also a good one, and seems to suggest that the performers are well aware of the choices they’ve made with which one might disagree, and they made them anyway. This was probably the show’s most effective moment for me, and really reminded me of the important responsibility that each audience member has to engage with the material and develop a challenging and real understanding of how and why it works. Some of the other sketches, while amusing, weren’t as effective as these two, seeming to fall short of a full exploration of the situations and characters we encountered. A bit more substance in some of the situations would make a world of difference in this respect.
Upcoming Shows: (BYOV C: Arts Court Courtroom)
June 28 @ 19:30
June 29 @ 16:30