Photos - Katharine McLeod
Megan Riordan’s one-woman show, Luck, is an exploration into the depths of her enigmatic world of professional gambling. Claiming heritage as the daughter of a world renowned blackjack tycoon we know as ‘Max’, the show is set as a confessional for Megan to divulge her dark past and family’s secret. Unfortunately, a personal confessional is all the majority of the performance turns out to be.
Luck is framed around a clever premise, that the front row of the audience are given cards and dice and then draw a number which determines what Megan will talk about next. This is done by a corresponding list projected on a screen, which contains options for her discussion points. For instance, if the dice rolls higher than a six, Megan must tell us about gambling terminology, if under 6, she will outline the rules of a game, and so on. What the audience hears is essentially up to chance, with the show changing from night to night depending on the numbers. The problem with this however, is that most of the action consists of Megan on stage speaking quickly about cards and casinos and it soon becomes difficult to follow and overly wordy.
There are other interludes between these games: when ‘Tell a story’, flashes on the screen Megan sits down and talks some more. Albeit her interesting tales of father/daughter scams and quirky Vegas uncles, the sound of her voice becomes too repetitive. In contrast, a couple of times throughout the show she breaks into physical sequences to music. These are all movement phrases developed from combined gestures and signals used by gamblers to communicate to other members of their disguised teams. Although this was a fascinating change of pace and well choreographed, there was no segue from the act before and the flow of the show became increasing chaotic.
As a performer, Megan Riordan can boast extensive training in theatre and is clearly skilled at her craft. The large crowd are adequately amused by her animated spoken word delivery and quirky characterisation, but there is not enough substance beyond this to flesh out the show. She employs clever use of a video camera from the back of the audience and has an ambient casino-themed set with great props. But these things and her vocal stamina alone are not enough to beguile the audience. As an hour passes Megan is still indulging in a lengthy concluding speech when people start to hide glances at their watches. A great idea for a show but not executed with enough pizzazz to realise it’s full potential. Better luck next time.
Strut & Fret and Making Strange Theatre present
Devised by Making Strange | Additional Writing by Shawn Sturnick
Directed by Dodd Loomis
Venue: The Garden of Unearthly Delights - Bosco Theater
Dates: 1, 3-7, 10-13 Mar @ 6.30pm
Tickets: Adult $28.00 | Concession $25.00 (2, 9 Mar @ 6.30pm All Tix $25.00)
Venue: The Garden of Unearthly Delights - Umbrella Revolution
Dates: 12-14, 16, 23 Feb @ 7.30pm All Tix $25.00
17-18, 20-22, 24-28 Feb @ 7.30pm
Tickets: Adult $28.00 | Concession $25.00