Play games, make choices and control the action in The Twenty-Sided Tavern, a Dungeons and Dragons inspired comedy adventure show.
You, the audience, control what happens in this Dungeons and Dragons inspired comedy adventure show from the comfort of your own seat, using your smartphone. This sure-fire hit has had sell-out shows in the USA and now comes to Edinburgh in its UK premiere.
The Twenty-Sided Tavern is destined to delight everyone from hardcore D&D players to interactive comedy fans and those just dipping a toe into the world of role-playing games. During the adventure, audiences make choices on their screens in real-time dictating the actions of the actors on stage. With so many potential outcomes, who knows what will happen? We got the lowdown from cast members Sarah Davis Reynolds and David Andrew Greener-Laws.
Do you all Play Dungeons and Dragons? How is this show different and do we need to know much about D&D to enjoy it?
Sarah Davis Reynolds: The show was definitely born out of a love of Dungeons & Dragons, but it's always been so important for us to make sure that you don't need to know anything about D&D to enjoy the show. I think that D&D is such a great tool for storytelling and for coming together to have a great time, and that's the spirit that we want to embrace with The Twenty-Sided Tavern. So yes, we've all played some D&D, but you don't need to know anything about it to have a great time at The Twenty-Sided Tavern.
David Andrew Greener-Laws: The goal is that you don't need to know D&D at all to enjoy the show. In fact, knowing D&D might even be a hindrance when we make a character roll for Magic Missle. "But that's an auto-hit spell!" you'll say. "Yes, in D&D," we'll respond, "but this is TST." Then you'll realise you're having a great time and you'll laugh and we'll laugh. Our eyes will meet from across the theatre. A connection will have been made. Is it... love? You move down from your seat and onto the stage as we - ...sorry, what was the question?
What do we need to bring to the show?
Sarah: Your phone and your funny bone! We use a technology called Gamiotics that allows you to make choices, play mini-games, solve riddles and more during the show using your smartphone. So we usually recommend having at least 20% battery to play through the whole show. And of course, be prepared to laugh.
David: Also, if you brought the resident Gamemaster a nice cold Dr Pepper, he would not complain.
What skills should we work on before coming? Will word games and number puzzles help to defeat evil and win the day?
Sarah: It takes all types of skills to defeat evil! We don't want to give away everything, but there will definitely be some puzzles, some button mashing, and maybe even some Fantasy Beer Pong.
David: Fantasy Beer Pong for sure. That's a given. You're going to want to come with sharp skills of your own, but you'll also need to do some collaborating to get everything done. Sometimes it'll be working within your own cohort, sometimes it'll be cross-collaboratively. Either way, teamwork definitely makes the dream work.
How does the tech in the show make it all possible?
Sarah: Gamiotics lets the audience have real agency in the show by giving them immediate access into the decision-making and gameplay aspects of the show. It's the audience's input that tells us where to go, what to do, and how well we'll do at those things. It really empowers the audience to be another player and another storyteller during the adventure, making it a unique experience every time for all of us.
David: It also lets us learn a lot about the audience's personality. Did 90% of them choose to lie to the Bartender, or was it a more even split? Are they choosing to have the Mage heal their teammates or focus on the enemy with a fireball? When we see what they're choosing, we can adjust our strategies to play along with them.
If the Edinburgh Fringe were personified, would it be Lawful Good or Chaotic Evil?
Sarah: Ooh, what a good question. If I may, I would actually say Chaotic Good - EdFringe is definitely crazy and chaotic, but it's such an incredible place to meet other artists and see incredible works, so there is certainly a lot of good happening!
David: My gut also said Chaotic Good, but there could be a call for Lawful Good. There are rules to EdFringe (I'm sure, I don't know what they are, but there must be... right?), and even if they're not written down anywhere, there's a code or an expectation or a vibe. And that vibe gets to dictate what's "Good", so as long as you go with the flow, I'm sure EdFringe will have no issues.