Playing Cards 1: Spade was about a group of people who happened to be at a particular Las Vegas hotel and how their paths tangentially crossed over the course of a few days. The cast members played multiple roles which was a mixture of characters including a newly wedded couple, a gambling addict, a soldier from a nearby base, a prostitute and a chamber maid. Their stories came across as an assortment of part clichés, part surreal, part social commentary but never really settled into anything insightful or interesting and that can make a very tedious evening. The saving grace was the technical side of the production as it was technically very impressive; the versatility of the stage with various pop up and cut out and a revolving outer ring gave a relative small space great flexibility. There was even a great tornado generated in the centre of the stage towards the end which was visually arresting.  The complexity of the scene changes involved sometimes were staggering and even more impressive with the little time it took. The stage itself, little more than five feet high and fifteen yards across, was also where the actors and stage crew, along with all the props and costumes had to cramp in for the duration of show which made it a more impressive achievement. Running at two hours and forty-five minutes without interval, the show may make you feel like you are trapped in Las Vegas itself with its constant stimulation and mix of people with different backgrounds crossing paths. However, even with its bright lights and showiness like Vegas itself, it is ultimately superficial and hollow.


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