Vibrant colours, retro telephones and upbeat music, this show screams 70s – and dare I add Scooby Doo, in the best possible way. There is mystery, characters chasing after each other frantically (yet in a wonderfully choreographed manner), riddles, lurking figures and even stage fog, just to add that little extra bit of spookiness. Yes, this show is one that sucks you in from the very beginning.
When a university Professor’s daily routine is disturbed by the ominous ringing of telephones following them at every turn, they are plunged into a spiral of puzzles to find their missing daughter. Making up this vibrant comedy-thriller that is Speed Dial, we find, alongside The Professor (Hamish Lloyd Barnes), The Dean (Tullio Campanale), Flora, the daughter (Genevieve Sabherwal), The Groundskeeper (Elle Dillon-Reams), and Terry (Evangeline Dickson), whom I found particularly brilliant in their role.
All demonstrated great versatility in their art, the dance choreographies and their execution were a treat for the eyes, and the comedy that came from the actors’ performances (and writing!) made the show a thoroughly enjoyable hour all around. My only ‘critique’ is that I was so invested in the performances, fabulous staging and ingenuous set design that I missed the clue that would have led me to solve the whodunnit… Pay close attention.
If you want to have a crack at unravelling the case, and leave with a spring in your step from the joyful energy that oozes from this play (or how I will personally remember it, a spirited 1970s mystery story set on the grounds of a very British university campus with just the right hint of Scooby Doo feel to it – minus the dog), you can get your tickets here: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/speed-dial-0#overview To keep up to speed with Spies Like Us’ other projects, go to https://www.spieslikeustheatre.com/ or follow them on Instagram @spieslikeustheatre.
Reviewer: Louise Balaguer
Reviewed: 13th August 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★