It's almost 10pm and we pull into a carpark that closes at midnight. "Don't worry," I tell my husband. "We won't be more than two hours."
"Butů It's D&D?"
He's right. Fitting a Dungeons and Dragons session into a 60-minute time slot is no easy feat. Sure, you could do it with a bit of editing, but live? Well, that's the premise of A Bedtime Story with Dice Paper Role. A full week of stand-alone shows, each night tackling a different fairy tale and each night a new DM (dungeon master) stepping into the role. It's not quite the full D&D experience, but it's definitely a lot of fun.
Dice Paper Role are a D&D group from Melbourne. They don't just play D&D in their basement, they have a fortnightly podcast too. As the show begins, we're introduced to the characters and the setting. It's opening night and the first bedtime story on the agenda is the tale of Robin Hood (you can even listen to the show online). The five adventurers are obviously used to this because they seamlessly switch into character. There's no fumbling through dodgy accents or endless rule book queries, it's a great blend of both theatre and game.
Like any good D&D performance, the group try their hardest to derail the DM's planned story, which leads to many laughs and also helps highlight their improvisation skills. The majority of the audience on opening night were D&D players in some way or another, so there was plenty of audience participation and a fair few suggestions thrown up to the stage when the dice just weren't rolling in the DM's favour. Part of the humour comes from the performers and part from the game. The show is definitely accessible to anyone, even if you've never played a game of D&D in your life, but it's even more fun if you have.
Each night is a different show. Come along for one and there's a good chance you'll end up wanting to book tickets for another. It might just be a bunch of guys sitting around a table rolling some dice but even though the show is improvised it's a very slick show. Tickets can be booked online from the Adelaide Fringe website. Tickets start at $15.