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DC Richard Head review (Canal Cafe Theatre)

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Hot off the heels of an impactful run at Barons Court Theatre, Broken Gods Productions are back with a new, totally contrasting show ‘DC Richard Head’, which has just opened at the Canal Cafe Theatre in Little Venice. A police-themed madcap comedy directed by Holly-Anne White, the play couldn’t be further in themes from their last piece of work ‘Let Loose Sid’, choosing to instead take a much lighter approach and create a zany interactive whodunnit. The last time I watched this style of comedy was ‘Police Cops: The Musical’ in March, so I was keen to see how another theatre company would take on such a high energy genre.

DC Richard Head poster in Little Venice, London


Written by and starring Luke Rose, the one-person play focuses on Police Officer ‘DC Richard Head’, who is celebrating 20 years in the force. The audience has been invited to his retirement party, with the group collectively looking back on his impeccable arrest and case record. All is not what it seems though as we quickly learn that the officer is dissatisfied with the omission of one triple-homicide case from his record. It saw the murder of his colleagues and has remained unsolved for years. Cue 60 minutes of humorous reflection on the case, a cast of memorable characters with names inspired by puns and one last attempt to find the culprit.

Comedy style

The comedy style will not appeal to everyone, given how over-the-top it is, but Luke plays the parts brilliantly, leaning into the interactive aspects of the production. The more outrageous the characters, the stronger Luke’s performance, so much so that the actual whodunnit feels like a secondary plot. With Luke playing such crowd-pleasing, extraverted roles, the actual murder mystery feels somewhat irrelevant and I believe the play is best enjoyed as a character comedy piece, featuring the legendary Captain Hard, PC Bleak and PI Cane.

DC Richard Head poster inside the Canal Cafe Theatre, London

Audience participation

Utilising audience participation, the overall structure goes off-the-rails in places, but it makes for a totally unique viewing experience. The interaction segments are scattered throughout the play, following both a call and response format, as well as opportunities for the audience to drive the story. Attending opening night, there were clearly a handful of audience members that knew the company in the room, and the personal interactions brought an extra level of energy to the performance. As someone there to watch the performance with no personal connection, I couldn’t help but laugh at the extra ad libbing.

Design and staging

The comedy is the heart of the production, but it is amplified by a nostalgic slide deck with wild animations and lots of silly props which help Luke turn into the alternate characters. The transformation is a little ridiculous in places, but you can’t fault the efforts in creating such eccentric personalities.

DC Richard Head leaflet at the Canal Cafe Theatre, London

A highlight is the use of lighting, which alternates between blue hues and natural lighting during the interview scenes. It provides visual contrast when Luke switches characters, turning his head to illustrate the change of role. Digesting the character structure of one-person plays is always a little difficult, but the lighting changes and variety of the characters in this play makes the narrative incredibly easy to follow.

DC Richard Head programme at the Canal Cafe Theatre, London

Another memorable production from Broken Gods

The amusing, madcap comedy is based at the Canal Cafe Theatre until Sunday 7th July. If you enjoyed Police Cops at Southwark Playhouse, this British police-themed piece of Fringe theatre will be right up your street. Tickets are available via the theatre’s website. The company is also affiliated with LGBTQ+ human rights charity ReportOUT for this run, with a percentage of the ticket sales being donated to the charity.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Love Kat xxxx

*My ticket for DC Richard Head was gifted in exchange for an unbiased review.



  1. Luke Rose says:

    Thank you Kat! it was a pleasure to have you!
    And thank you for this insightful and kind critique!!!

    1. Thanks Luke! I look forward to hearing about your future work.


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