Algorithms

This raucous monologue from Sadie Clark gives us a tale of dating and identity from the bleeding edge of the 21st century. Brooke is about to turn thirty, her love life is increasingly complex, her job is a mess and everyone around her seems to be getting it together whilst she’s watching it slowly drift apart. Turning to the certainty of maths, she attempts to find happiness via online dating but the world, and her mother, seems to be conspiring against her.

A timely bisexual pop-culture reboot of an unlikely female hero

The show’s tagline is "a bisexual Bridget Jones" which is both clever and constraining simultaneously. The content is pure Millennial, a fact gleefully acknowledged by Brooke, but the similarities with the Gen X Bridget, and the ongoing classic romcom references, sometimes serve to miss the point rather than underscore it. Clark’s delivery and physical performance make this play. She’s consistently hilarious, even at rest but especially in motion. The script is tonally excellent, joyously filthy and appropriately crude. There is a slight dissonance between an early description of oral sex and the later somewhat prissy homelife but this is a minor quibble. There are some excellent lines, in particular the explanation of bisexuality via M&Ms, and the charmingly shallow Brooke is given full rein to take us breathlessly through her mess of a life.

Brooke's entitlement makes her tough to relate to at times, the ‘bit of rough’ partners and accents are a little tone-deaf too. Algorithms suffers from the same flaws as the source material - who cares about a rich white girl? However, as the adherents of Fleabag would say, 'loads of us'! The 'You Do You’ message that eventually emerges is a powerful payoff, but does Brooke’s cosseted experience earn her the right to be free? Maybe yes, in romcom-land.

Physical, fun, bawdy and relevant. A bisexual pop-culture reboot of an unlikely female hero and a timely one. Lots of fun and well worth a look.

Reviews by Will Breden

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The Blurb

Brooke has it all: the job, the flat, the girlfriend... but what happens when things go tits up just before your 30th birthday? A bisexual Bridget Jones for the online generation, this tragicomic one-woman play and its lovably hapless heroine is for anyone who’s wondered why they feel so lonely when connecting with others is meant to be easier than ever. Developed on the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab and longlisted for the Tony Craze Award 2018. ‘A brave, bold and brilliantly funny show’ (Lisa Walters, Channel 4). www.sadieclark.co.uk @AlgorithmsPlay

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