There are three main reasons to see 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation: Tim Motley’s mastery of the fast-talking film noir detective character, the incredible mind tricks he plays on the audience, and the integration of an amusing narrative to tie it all together.
6 Quick Dick Tricks is the third of Tim Motley’s shows to feature character Dirk Darrow: a jaded, cynical private eye who is somehow both standoffish and flirty. The steely facial expressions are a treat, but are blown away by his low, rumbly, and almost 1940s-radio voice that never wavers.
Then there are the magic tricks – and man, are there tricks. This show isn’t quite a magic show, but it does have a lot in common with that genre. There is a card trick (but just one), there’s a “which paper bag has the dangerous broken glass in it” trick, and plenty of audience participation along the way. The classic mind games come to a head in the final three-part trick that must involve some serious pre-planning, but I couldn’t tell how you he does it. Not only does Motley pull off his tricks with aplomb, but he plays with the audience’s doubt as if it were putty in his hands. Whatever his actual technique to pulling off each respective trick, he tricks audience members with terrible “cold read” questions (“So ma’am, this first person you kissed… this person is either male or female, yes?”) to lull them and the rest of the audience into a false sense of security before revealing that he was on the right track all along. Even though he succeeds with every trick, he does an excellent job of managing the audience’s expectations.
There’s also a dramatic narrative in this show as well. The focus is mainly on the tricks, but the inclusion of the narrative loosely ties them all together, and it gives Motley the opportunity to utilize some truly groan-worthy puns. The brief monologues that punctuate this show prove Motley’s abilities as an actor as well as an illusionist/magician/mind reader (I’m not sure what the proper term is for one who performs these kind of tricks, but it must be something along those lines). The storyline ends as something of a punny shaggy dog story, but it fits in well with the tone of the narrative.
Honestly, I don’t have much else to say about 6 Quick Dick Tricks besides that it was very enjoyable and I would recommend it for anyone looking to be amused and wowed at the same time. As a psychic detective, Tim Motley kills it.
Written and Performed by Tim Motley
At Arts Court Theatre (Venue 1)
Running Time: 60 minutes
Tuesday 13 June 6:00pm
Wednesday 14 June 9:30pm
Friday 16 June 7:30pm
Saturday 17 3:30pm