Review: Dungeoning and Dragoning
The show is exactly thus – four great actors playing Dungeons and Dragons on stage, led by an eminently likeable DM.
I must admit I had my qualms when coming to this show, as I’ve always found playing D&D to be more fun than watching it, but the cast is excellent, the mood appropriate, and the campaign very fun. Good vibes all round.
Harriet Prebble is the show’s gnome cleric, Thistle, who’s badass and perhaps has a bit of a Tragic Backstory. Allan Henry plays Armand – a wild-haired tiefling barbarian with a penchant for pulling off people’s arms and a generic Eastern-European/vampiric accent. Gavin Rutherford brings a certain football spectator cheekiness to human sorcerer Gart, and Gabriela Rocha plays high elf rogue Kyrrha with a great wiliness. The four friends are joined by a colourful cast of characters played by Dungeon Master, Ryan McIntyre.
Our group of travellers has escaped a port and are sailing the wild open seas. To where? Who really knows – but there’ll definitely be some ‘boat things’ to do along the way. Through fights with geothermic fairies, tenuous relationships and lots of rope coiling, they find their way to Thistle’s homeland to discover the fate of her village. But first, they must fight an orc and a much put-upon human accountant named Steve (STEVE!!!!!) and generally make nice with the locals.
It’s so nice to join the group from within the story somewhat – there’s none of that getting-to-know-you awkwardness, no uncomfortable posturing – these characters know each other, have relationships and definitely have rivalries. For a fairly improvised piece, with a degree of complexity to it, the show runs smoothly, and there’s some excellent one-liners, as well as some excellent dice rolls (five nat 20s from Rocha alone). The storytelling is supreme – McIntyre is an excellent DM, with plenty of voices for additional characters, and a quick wit – and the world feels well-formed and well-spoken around the main story.
Perhaps there’s a little too much of the problematic elements that D&D often falls into (can we say colonialist ideals and iffy stereotyping of certain characters?) but for the most part, the show feels fresh and exciting.
My only regret is that I didn’t get tickets for the rest of the season.
(Seriously though, someone keep me posted on the plot?)
This show is sold out, but you can (and should) find D&D games being played literally everywhere in Wellington these days. (It’s a good time, get amongst.)