There’s one word that can fill even the most adventurous theatre- or comedy-goer with dread: ‘improv’. When done well, it’s mind-blowingly impressive. When done badly, it’s excruciatingly awkward – and boring. ‘Blind Date’, the brainchild of Canadian actor/improviser Rebecca Northan, falls somewhere in between: it’s not funny enough to be good comedy improv, and too slow-paced to be engaging improvised theatre.
Northan plays Mimi, a French clown who has been stood up by her blind date – so she replaces him with a man from the audience. But rather than a few minutes of onstage conversation (or public humiliation), her chosen man is subjected to playing Northan’s new date and co-star for the next 90 minutes.
Tonight’s victim/volunteer is Jamie, a friendly freelance music manager with a positive outlook. He’s a good sport and, crucially, talkative and entertaining. He’s just the type of open character you’d think Northan would relish bouncing her award-winning improv skills off. Instead, her responses are dull. Long, awkward silences (appropriate, for a first date, I suppose) leave little evidence of Northan’s acclaimed off-the-cuff wit.
The opening ‘café’ scene is particularly slow: Mimi asks vague questions – ‘What else should we know about you?’ – leaving her date stumped. And, apart from a nicely-judged birthing scene that provides a few laughs, the show has the same sluggish pace throughout.
To give ‘Blind Date’ the benefit of the doubt, it is improvised, so perhaps on another night, with a different volunteer, the show could be a riot. But we can’t imagine anyone giving Northan more to work with than Jamie. And we don’t want to return for a second date to find out.
By Ben Williams
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Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
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- 1 star:1
Tonight's 9pm performance was nothing short of hilarious. Want to watch another show but sadly it ends tomorrow. Go see it - a blast!!!
I LOVED IT! I didn't know anything about the show prior to coming which might make a difference for anyone with expectations. I thought Rebecca was genius! I laughed more than I have in a long time. A truly fascinating insight into the world of improv touching on the world of the personal!
Amazing and funny night all elegantly woven together, fast improv and cheeky wit. I would recommend this show and am planning to go again.
This show seems to polarise people -- they either love it or hate it -- but I'm a guy and I loved it. Of course your experience will vary because it's *improv.* Not only do they have a different man every night, but the woman is played by three different comediennes! Great date night but be aware that when the hostess is socialising before the play, she's actually shopping for men! The crew are amazing--when our man wanted to play Twister, they actually found a twister game!
I am glad I saw this show before I read this pithy review. I saw Blind Date on Saturday night, and I had such an amazing time! There is truly no theatre more alive then Blind Date. This show is brilliantly crafted and fresh. I understand it is never the same show twice. I have always enjoyed Time Out reviews but I feel you missed the mark on this one. Here is an intelligent review of the show that I read first: http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/reviews/06-2013/blind-date_30905.html
I am glad I saw this show before I read this pithy review. I Blind Date on Saturday night, and I and I had such an amazing time! This is truly no theatre more alive then Blind Date. This show is brilliantly crafted and fresh. I understand it is never the same show twice. I have always enjoyed Time Out reviews but I feel you missed the mark on the one. Here is an intelligent review of the show I read first: http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/reviews/06-2013/blind-date_30905.html http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2013/jun/06/blind-date-review
Since I came to London 2 years ago I have been going to the theatre about once every two weeks and this is BY FAR THE WORST PERFORMANCE I had the DISPLEASURE OF SEEING!!...I laughed twice in over two hours...I rarely write reviews but it was so bad for me (and the friend who came with me) that I just felt obliged to warn others!
Just went to see it tonight, and God it is good!!!! All the actors are amazingly funny and so interactive with the audience. Will definitely go back asap!!!!