Utterly bizarre, intensely complicated, but thoroughly enjoyable, the EUTC’s production of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is a distinct triumph. This impressive showcase of talent and comedy fills the stage at Bedlam, wrapped up into a two-and-a-half-hour rollercoaster of laughter and confusion.
Based on the novel by Douglas Adams and adapted for the stage by James Goss and Arvind Ethan David, this piece of science fiction theatre verges on the incomprehensible — which is exactly where its genius lies. In this narrative of incredibly fast paced wit, humour and absurdity, Dirk Gently knits together a strange medley of stories and characters which, at first, seem wholly unrelated, but cleverly fuse together to prove Gently’s opening claim that “everything is connected.”
Characterisation is the main driving force of this production, demonstrated expertly by an immensely talented cast. Leonie Findlay’s portrayal of the enigmatic Professor Chronotis is a clear stand out, her performance bringing consistent and effortless humour to the stage, delivered with unmatched stamina.
Although the actors stumble upon a few moments of clumsiness in the early scenes, their errors are quickly erased by the tangible energy and enthusiasm that floods the stage. They soon find their footing to produce a performance that is overall confident, and with slight polishing, would be seamless.
To a narrative of such immeasurable complexity, the EUTC manage to bring a certain level of clarity, transforming the incomprehensible into a performance of compelling intricacy. The confusion is intriguing, and the delivery, hilarious.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is an exceptionally entertaining production. This incredibly tangled web of chaos takes the audience from a small Cambridge college, to pre-historic Earth in a matter of minutes, and such an ambitious story has been pulled off spectacularly.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency