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Fringe Review: Dicky Dicky Dream Factory

By David Currie on June 12, 2017

dicky_dicky_dream_factory

Dicky Dicky Dream Factory
by Ray Besharah & David Benedict Brown

60 min / Comedy / Mature

Trauma and comedy. There are fewer words in the English language that seem as antithetical but a Trauma-Comedy is exactly what Dicky Dicky Dream Factory succeeds at being. The show opens with a harrowing journey for the audience. Yes, there are pillowcases and yes there are handcuffs but the dramaturgical function of this exercise is to “damage” and disorient the audience in order to heal them slowly over the course of the hour.

Ray Besharah and David Benedict Brown prove themselves to be extremely thoughtful people through this exercise as they clearly have experience with trauma-sensitivity. After the trauma, the remainder of the hour is a series of sketches and audience participation exercises seeking to heal and restore the audience to a time before Dicky Dicky had traumatized them.

This is a very funny show that changes every night depending on what sketches Besharah and Brown perform and who is in the audience. In a very real way, after the “trauma” the audience takes control and sets boundaries with Ray and Dave, depending on their comfort level. Audience participation in this show functions as a kind of healing community and as a finale the entire audience comes together to truly build a dream factory by making someone’s dream come true.

The Dream Factory is wonderful to behold, a set that is simple and yet excessive, a set that contains all the tools necessary to heal injured souls. At Sunday’s performance, the performers called the real Buckingham Palace to accomplish this healing.

Dicky Dicky is an exercise in knowing exactly where the line is and when it has been crossed. At several moments, Besharah or Brown went too far for either each other’s or the audience’s comfort and quickly tried to heal that too. It worked, people seemed to forgive their momentary transgressions for the sake of enjoying the show. Though a recurring invocation of specific communities, in this case the Chinese, felt a little out of place. Words like ancient and Chinese are easy for a person to combine in a highly improvisation environment but probably shouldn’t be.

Dicky Dicky Dream Factory is evolving and learning, with each show the sketches and material become more in tune with their comedic purpose. Healing trauma and making dreams come true or not come true. Depending on the dream, depending on the night.


Dicky Dicky Dream Factory by Ray Besharah & David Benedict Brown is playing at Studio 311 (135 Séraphin-Marion) until Saturday June 17, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office info. Apt613 is trying to see every show on opening weekend of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.