Have you ever felt that walking into the theatre and leaving the bar behind felt a little unfair? Then I highly recommend you head along to Silo Theatre’s current offering, The Blind Date Project.
Not only is the play set in a karaoke bar, but the full cabaret-style venue is in fact a functioning bar and the audience are welcome to get up and order a real drink at any time during the show. The setting, with it’s glittery curtains, cheesy music posters and round table seating create a wonderful scene for this fun and fantastically unique show.
Anna (Natalie Medlock) appears on stage (as it were) at some point as the rest of the audience is arriving. Perched at the bar while we take our seats the penny gradually drops as we realise that she is our protagonist, sitting on her own waiting for the eponymous blind date to arrive.
The quirk of this show lies in the fact that it is utterly unscripted, and unrehearsed beyond directions sent by text message to the two actors from director Tanya Goldberg, it is entirely improvised.
The show will feature a different actor every night as the blind date; even our leading lady didn’t know beforehand who she’ll be meeting. This adds a fun anticipation to the experience as really anything could happen here.
Last night’s man of the hour was comedian Jamie Bowen, who played opposite Medlock with great results. Sharp and witty dialogue flowed from the beginning, and there was a real sense that both actors were genuinely enjoying the experience, as were the audience. We had plenty to laugh about throughout this unpredictable show. The two bantered, chose and performed karaoke songs for each other. Bowen’s rendition of ‘Rolling In The Deep’ was… something to behold. The actors touched on a glorious variety of subjects, including – quite unexpectedly – midget porn.
The show did have its slow moments, especially in the final third where the dialogue became more serious and the pace slipped a little. However, the fun and anticipation more than made up for it, and it’s the sort of show that has you instantly wanting to return another night to see who might turn up for the date, and what sort of antics might unfold. The changing cast is in for a fun few weeks, maybe love will blossom?
I highly recommend this fun take on improvisational theatre which is bound to be one of the most talked about shows of the year.
Reviewed by Natalie Ridler