Edinburgh Fringe 2015
A light-hearted script, laced with great one-liners and a poignant message, takes a look at the minefield that is on-line dating. Makes one glad one is single.
Susie is desperate. She’s looking for a bloke. And not just any bloke. She inhabits a body where the clock is ticking like a proverbial time bomb and she wants the fairy-tale marriage, home and family that she’s dreamed of ever since her parents gave her a Barbie doll for her 5th birthday. The trouble is, she’s kissed more frogs than you’d find in a large pond and has no idea how to find the Prince Charming she knows is out there. Somewhere.
So, like many in today’s interconnected world, she signs up with an on-line dating agency. Only this turns out to make matters worse. For a start, she can’t tell if the profiles posted are real or phoney and, even when she leaps that hurdle, she ends up meeting a series of waifs, conmen, strays and plain old weirdos before finally tripping over a handsome prince, Simon, following an introduction through a mutual friend.
Bernie Byrnes light-hearted script is laced with great one-liners and, like all good observational comedy, appears to have been crafted from at least an element of personal experience. Superbly brought to life by the engaging narration of Tori Hargreaves (Susie), the script canters through some of the many frogs she encounters before alighting at her knight in shining armour. Whilst Hargreaves does an excellent job of slipping between narration and her character, the roles of her eclectic collection of male friends are all enacted by the enterprising and richly talented Ewan Reilly, a man of many accents (local and international) as well as some interesting character traits.
Yet if you scratch away the veneer of humour, it all feels rather disturbingly real, especially the very touching denouement, laced with poignancy and pathos and exquisitely delivered by Hargreaves and Reilly. Byrnes is right, marriage is a compromise. But then so, in many ways, is life. We can’t always have what we always want but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find happiness and a happy ending. And that’s what we got here, to the delight of an audience that listened with rapt attention to two first-rate actors delivering an entertaining and enlightening bit of theatre.