The 37th Question is a unique mixture of storytelling and comedy, a multimedia one-man choose-your-own-adventure show. Rory O’Keeffe weaves together the story of a couple, describing both how they met and where they are now, and – with the help of the audience – where they might go in the future. At certain points throughout the show we asked to choose between a number of options in order for the story to progress.
And so we learn about the young pair, Stewart and Zoe. Stewart likes tea and early mornings, Zoe prefers coffee and afternoons. They met using a psychological tool to make strangers fall in love, consisting of 36 questions; now they’re starting to think about the 37th one. Their story is quite ordinary, and yet told in such mesmerising detail and in such a novel way that the mellow pace of the show cultivates interest rather than boredom.
Rory O’Keeffe is a highly skilful storyteller, holding the attention of the room for the full hour with apparent ease. His words are on occasion a little rushed and it takes a second to figure out what has been said or which character is speaking, but this never causes any serious problems.
The story that unfolds is perfectly paced, with just the right amount of drama to keep us all keen to hear more. The choose your own adventure aspect works well, and adds an extra layer of interest to the story, as the audience is invested in a plot they feel they have helped to shape. Each different choice hangs together coherently, and O’Keeffe is never fazed by our occasionally-wacky choices.
This slower-paced show is perfect as an afternoon treat. Beautifully crafted and skilfully told, it captures and retains the audience’s attention from the outset. It has some wonderfully funny moments, too – and Rory O’Keeffe shows himself to be a likeable and entertaining storyteller.