Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

“Packed with Energy and Humour”

Wales at Edinburgh Fringe

Dexter and Winter's Detective Agency- Theatr Clwyd & Paines Plough , Roundabout @ Summerhall , August 13, 2019
Wales at Edinburgh Fringe by Dexter and Winter's Detective Agency- Theatr Clwyd & Paines Plough The Plough-&-Clwyd combo for the third year has a play for young people in its trio of productions.

A year back “How to Spot an Alien”, below 11th August 2018, was my favourite of the three and vaulted to my personal Best of the Year list. Charlotte O'Leary again features in the cast of three.

From The List

“Dexter and Winter are best friends, they've known each other forever and regularly hang out at each other's houses. This arrangement is made semi-permanent, however, when Dexter's mum is imprisoned for robbery. Convinced of her innocence, the two ten-year-olds set out to clear her name and find the real culprit.

“Each scene arrives on the stage like a brick through a window, jam-packed with energy and humour. Charlotte O'Leary as Winter and Toyin Omari-Kinch as Dexter breathe pre-teen life into the characters, whether they're high on problem-solving or suffering the low blows of disappointment.

“Which leaves Charlotte Bate to put in a cracking performance as everyone else the duo encounters, from mums to shopkeepers to police officers and even an aerobic granny.

“Yet despite the abundant wit and charm, this show doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of life, looking them square in the face with warmth and compassion.”

From Whats On Stage

“Nathan Bryon's new show for entire world of voices come alive in Stef O'Driscoll's production. Relying on Toyin Omari-Kinch and Charlotte O'Leary's high-octane energy and Charlotte Bate's ability to swap characters in the blink of an eye without the help of props and few costumes, the show is a hectic, turbo-charged experience. And it has the sort of satisfaction levels of Stranger Things in the way the kids solve the question of who really did pull off the heist.

“Bryon's characters are also a breath of fresh air, with two single parents looking after the kids themselves, and having Dexter and Winter as Stormzy-loving and outspoken

“Omari-Kinch works exceptionally hard as the open-faced and well-meaning Dexter and O'Leary's naughtiness as Winter is a hoot. But it's Bate's astonishingly quick-fire changes that steal the show; you barely notice it's the same performer playing each role.”

From Edinburgh Festivals for Kids

“Paines Plough once again bring their incredibly dynamic storytelling to the awesome Roundabout venue, using the circular space to it’s full effect -so it becomes anything from a theme park, to a karaoke session and even a trampoline centre! While Dexter and Winter dance, jump and bound around, looking for clues in their investigation – Charlotte Bate plays the myriad of characters they meet along the way -accents and minimal props distinguish each one and it is seriously impressive. The energy, enthusiasm and curiosity of a childhood adventure are perfectly embodied by Dexter and Winter’s characters, and we collectively feel their weight of confusion when reality isn’t quite as they predicted.

“Immersive, imaginative and enjoyably interactive…it is highly recommended you grab your binoculars and disguises and join the detective agency fun!”

From Wales Arts Review

“Between the brightly coloured lights and the loud sound effects, Dexter and Winter’s Detective Agency gets pretty close to feeling simultaneously like a stage show and a cartoon...Charlotte Bate seems to have certainly drawn the exhausting straw, playing a seemingly never ending hoard of supporting characters, rarely staying as one for more than a couple of minutes before running offstage for yet another rapid turnaround. Her accents and character work are fun and impressive, keeping her parade of characters fully distinct from one another.

Dexter and Winter is more or less reliant on its lights and sounds, which play just as active a role in the world-building as the actors do. Itis a fun and interactive show, perfect for younger children and families. Although lightly contrived at moments, it still manages to not talk down to its audience, allowing them to have fun and get involved at their own pace.»

Reviews cited,with thanks, can be read in full at:

Reviewed by: Adam Somerset

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