MMF 2017 Mini Review: my return visit to ‘The Ladies’ Guide to Deceit and Debauchery’

Given that I’m seeing a total of 33 shows during this magic festival (haha yes – crazy, I know!) it is rare that I would go back and see a show again. In fact I can only recall this happening one other time during the MMF. This year, an opportunity arose to see the delightful and divine Lucy Darling (performed by Carisa Hendrix) in her show “The Ladies’ Guide to Deceit and Debauchery”. Given the theatrical nature of this show, portions of it end up being a sort of ‘choose your own adventure’ scenario (with Lucy at the helm of course) so I was compelled to see the show again to see what new adventures unfolded with Lucy Darling. Little did I realise exactly how exciting this show would be.

Before I commence raving about this show, I should dispel some assumptions about seeing the same show twice: I was not coerced to see it again, I sought it out and used my own free will; I was never bored – in fact seeing the show twice gave me a chance to experience some small tweaks that Lucy had made to her show. Being able to see this show twice was a gift in itself, as I’m sure there were some jokes or aspects I missed the first time around as I was so caught up and focused on Lucy’s aesthetic and her varied skills.

Prior to the show, the premise was explained to the audience – especially regarding the improv sections of the show and that audience members would have the chance to contribute and help out. During this show, I was sitting next to a friend and also had plenty of other friends located in the audience. This is important, due to the ‘improv’ nature of the show and the simple fact that the enjoyment of this show is magnified when shared with friends. Lucy Darling also took an easier path with some audience members, asking those in the front row if they could help her / if they were the person she’s looking for and if not she simply moved on to the next person. Lucy has so much charm and a great persona that finding some to help her was never a difficult task. Audience members reacted to Lucy’s scenarios in clever ways and really got into the spirit of what Lucy was asking of them, which I relished. I even had the chance to help Lucy on stage, which remains a festival highlight for me! I adored being able to help Lucy and she rewarded me so well (as with all her audience helpers). Who could ask for more from a show?!

This show was definitely as much fun as the first time I saw it (perhaps even moreso). Lucy Darling casts such an enchanting spell on her audience. I’m really going to miss her and I hope she returns to Australia soon.

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