DND Live presents excellent adventures where the classical and contemporary clash innovatively
I remember first hearing about Dungeons & Dragons in the early 1980s. Already I was reading choose-your-own-adventure books – their surprise endings always sparking excitement, and great value for money given the hours of reading one book could provide.
D&D went one step further in that you and your friends could choose your own adventure and make up your own narrative as you went along. But D&D is a game to be played with friends who are fine with you making somewhat of a fool of yourself at times. Who hasn’t fucked up an accent when taking on the role of a particular character? Who hasn’t wished they were in somebody else’s shoes because the role they’d been given have as much scope as others, certainly not as much as the Dungeon Master.
For this reason alone, kudos must be given to the group behind DND Live Presents, a Perth-based Dungeons & Dragons conglomerate that presents full DND games in front of pub punters and other such audiences. It takes courage to tell stories in front of strangers, let alone a room full of them.
As part of the Fringe World Festival 2023, DND Live stationed themselves in the tres chic surrounds of the Golden West Brewing Co. bar in Subiaco, and they selected one of the greatest adventures of all time to bastardise: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The improv show was fun to follow, especially since familiarity of the Alice stories meant you didn’t need to hear every single bit of the updated wayward narrative, giving you moments to walk up to the bar for beer top-ups, or to peruse the tasty Golden West Brewing Co. menu.
The phrase ‘going down the rabbit hole’ itself is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and DND Live certainly takes you down some surprising little tunnels. Characters are quasi-classical in their delivery (lots of Lewis Carroll-y-like speech) but also on-point with modern references (talk of non-binary status, political correctness, and so on).
Of course, being an improvised production, the story changes every night, and some folks were so impressed there was a table up front who had attended every show three nights running. Now that’s fanatical.
During intermission, my guests and I took to sampling the bar’s menu. The food is diverse. The tastes are amazing. And the prices very fair, especially for Subiaco. One highlight on the menu is the Spiced Lamb & Veal Keema (pictured) served with Hummus, Pomegranate, Curry Oil and Crispy Flatbread; a steal at just $22 considering it’s a meal in itself.
But back to the show at hand, I’d strongly recommend you go see a DND Live session any time and at any given venue. Outside of Fringe World they perform at other pubs and special events. Keep up to date with where they’re at here.
For more Fringe World productions and events, visit www.fringeworld.com.au.
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