How do you get over being cheated on with a boy you really loved? Obviously, a curse! Ruby and Sapphire jump to witchcraft in a moment of desperation to incite revenge on cheating Dickie, but it’s Halloween and the door between worlds is open. This can only go wrong.
Dickie Must Die is a rom-com theatre piece about love, ride or die friendship, and karma. Drawing on classic tropes of the genre and elevating them for a modern audience, this show perfectly plays on its film inspiration while establishing a unique plot.
From the second I walked into the room I knew I was in for a good hour. The atmosphere is set with an incredible playlist, and a simplistic set of fluffy pillows and blankets emulating a living room. This, paired with the background of Halloween night, immediately throws you in to the scenes perfectly.
Ruby, played by Olivia Denton, and Sapphire, played by Pippa Walton, have incredible chemistry from the second they step on stage. Throughout, they have a lightning speed back and forth dialogue, which never drops. The energy and speed at which they interact is impeccable, while still allowing the audience in to the story unfolding.
The characters are clear and well developed, allowing the audience to immediately recognise their personalities; Ruby’s eccentric, artistic side balanced well with Sapphire’s measured and scientific approach. This being said, I do think the scientific side of Sapphire could be referenced in a more casual way, as Ruby calling her a physicist felt unnatural from the rest of the script.
Particular standout moments include Sapphire (Walton) confronting Dickie (Max Hyner) for answers. The script, and the way she delivered it, worked perfectly to make me feel the emotions she was holding. Her performance perfectly captured the upset and disappointment of a situationship falling apart, especially while trying to pick yourself up again.
In contrast to this, Ruby (Denton) brings an eccentricity, being the driving force behind the story, quick and comedic. She is vibrant, and fills the stage when she enters.
Dickie was a classic fuckboy stereotype, who I kind of grew to love. Hyner brings an easy charm to the role as he wanders around the stage, and really hits the comedic moments, seen mostly in the repetition of his jokes. Sometimes this large energy worked perfectly, but I couldn’t help but want to see the emotional side of Dickie. There are moments where the character talks about his life, falling in love and feeling sorry for breaking Sapphire’s heart, and I wanted him to sit with that for a little longer and display the emotions deeper, before shaking it off and returning to his arrogance.
The play moves quickly through Dickie’s unfortunate accident (no spoilers for that here) and the conversations between him and Sapphire as they talk through why their relationship went wrong. In the meantime, Ruby is off stage searching for an answer to help fix it all. Despite Ruby’s mild attempts, I couldn’t help but feel they didn’t try enough to get Dickie back to normal, besides a few quick attempts like a quick water spritz or doing their original actions in reverse. The actors presented the panic of the situation perfectly, but it didn’t quite align with their actions at times.
Sapphire is a physicist who contemplates Einstein’s theory of relativity and that works well as a concept, and presents the audience with an understanding of what might happen next, but I left the venue feeling a bit unsatisfied. The Cinderella-style conclusion left me feeling slightly cheated, as we didn’t really get to find out what happens to Dickie. Usually I am a fan of an open ending, and it works perfectly for one part of the show but not for the other. Wondering whether Dickie’s new girlfriend calls the police on Ruby and Sapphire is fantastic, but trying to predict Dickie’s future didn’t tie things together neatly enough for me.
However, the ending brought as much energy as the beginning, with freeze frames in shocking red light as the door gets knocked down, and M.I.A starts to play. It was the perfect way to leave the audience on a high.
Overall, Dickie Must Die was a wonderful way to spend an hour. I laughed through most of the performance, connected to Pippa’s portrayal of heartbreak, and appreciated the feminist jokes which elevated the piece away from a classic 00’s romcom and brought it to the modern age.
Recommended Drink: The drink I would pair with this would be a witches brew cocktail, something purple and smoking. Failing finding this, a solid shot of tequila to make Ruby’s nan proud.
Catch Dickie Must Die at TheSpace on The Mile until August 14th, 19.15-20.05. Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.