Title: The Blind Date Project
Written by: Bojana Novakovic & Mark Winter with Thomas Henning &Tanya Goldberg
Directed by: Sophie Roberts
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by: Jon Rawlinson
Ever been blindsided on a blind date? I have. Years ago, I was asked to pull up my shirt by a young woman who declared that she ‘usually only went out with guys with six-packs’. I replied that, had I known this was a prerequisite, I would have stopped off at a bottle store on my way over. Needless to say, the evening went downhill from there.
By contrast, when taking my long-time partner to Silo Theatre’s The Blind Date Project for our anniversary recently, I was a little more confident of what to expect – in some respects at least.
Set in an off-beat karaoke bar, this show sees its central character, Anna (Natalie Medlock) on a blind date with various guest stars. During the performance, both actors are fed lines or situations by director, Sophie Roberts. The result sets the performance free from its script, leaving the actors (effectively) blindfolded and out on a limb with nowhere to hide.
On the night we attended Anna’s blind date was a nervous, bookish teacher, played by Danielle Cormack – former star of TV’s Wentworth. As the drinks flowed, and the two bonded, it became apparent that, despite her demeanour, Anna’s date had spent more time behind ‘bars’ than one might expect.
While both seemed to shoot from the hip more commonly than Clint Eastwood, often enough it was hard to tell where the script stopped and improvisation began, leaving the audience to speculate.
As an added bonus, this type of freestyle theatre ensures no two shows will ever be identical, so those who just can’t get enough of ‘people watching’ (or a theatre version of ‘car-crash TV’) can return night after night for fresh experiences.
A tribute to the unpredictability and (at times) outright insanity of blind dates, this show will leave some nostalgic for their single days and others grateful that such disastrous dates are behind them – ironically, as one actually would expect from an encounter in a karaoke bar, it’s sure to strike a chord (or discord) with almost anyone.
The Blind Date Project wraps on September 21 – see qtheatre.co.nz/blind-date-project for tickets or more information.