Blind Date

3
David Simpson's play at the Jermyn Street Theatre
By Stephen - 30th Jan 2015

Clever programming at the Jermyn Street Theatre as we head towards February, they bring us 'Blind Date' a tale of dating, missed opportunities and love. As the audience enter the soundtrack is the best of Take That. It is perfect for show, it is simple, Mancunian and positive.

Dave Simpson's play, about Andrew and Angela's love lives, has grown from a 15 minute short to a full length play. You can discern where that original play ends, but very quickly Simpson takes us to interesting and unexpected places, with some neat shifts in expectation.

Andrew (Will Travis) and Angela (Susan Mcardle) are ignored by life, and have been ignored by love. What the actors bring to these characters is detail and energy, that allows them to grow as the play progresses. When we first meet them they are polishing their profiles for an on-line dating site. At this point the characters seem quite thin but with recognisable foibles and some original humour. By the time Andrew and Angela are coping after their first date we are absolutely on their side - hating the slick shallow beautiful people who are dating them for a cruel bet. Will Travis and Susan Mcardle work well together and inspired not only laughs but sighs and other sympathetic vocal responses from the audience. For this is not a laugh a minute show. The shadows are long in this play and they lend a sense of perspective to a story that could otherwise be very easily dismissed. They are supported by Verity-May Henry and Drew Cain who play various additional characters and they do so brilliantly, they are versatile and engaging and often very funny. As Andrew and Angela's near-misses and misunderstandings build  the classic romantic endings of dating stories are neatly subverted in a series of set pieces in Act II.

This play might not change your life, but it is a sweet, well performed and humorous show for this Valentine's season.

Stephen Artus 


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