by Jim Murchison
St Paul's Eastern United Church is an odd venue for a play that searches for clues in the dark murky underworld peppered with slick sleazy criminals, 1 hot dame and 1 very jaded private eye, Dirk Darrow.
Tim Motley as Dirk doesn't attempt to play all of the characters to set the table for this tale of intrigue. Instead he assaults the audience with 1 liners, distracts them with predictions, a wonderful card trick and a final reveal that is very impressive.
So how does he deliver this sense of Film Noir solo in a challenging cavernous venue? He performs with a smooth deadpan, dry humour that acknowledges everything about what playing at a Fringe is about and he pulls the audience in figuratively and literally. He takes full advantage of his dollar store props and uses the audience to their potential making us all suspects, he makes us think that he might not be able to pull it off by showing us his flat clay feet and then pulls it off in the end with bravado.
Everyone has a good time even when it slides into corny, it's a loving little poke at the genre. Motley is genuinely appreciative of his audience and has a good sense of humour that wins you over. There are just 2 shows left that should please fans of silliness and film noir.