Blind Date
  • By Kate Nora
  • |
  • 23rd Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Have you ever been on a Tinder date? Picture that in front of a live audience, where only one of the participants knows what’s going on.

Become reawakened to the possibilities of love and human connection

Rebecca Northan has created something really special with her show Blind Date. Each evening, she invites a man from the audience to join her on stage as her date. We all get a bird’s eye view of the proceedings as the two get to know each other, changing locations a few times and interacting with some interesting side characters. Northan takes beautiful care of the volunteer, setting up a special ‘Time Out’ zone which he can activate any time he feels uncomfortable.

When you consider how many stand ups are using the memories of terrible dating experiences in their routines, it’s refreshing to see this new take on modern romance. Any obvious cynical jokes that could be made along the way are completely passed over — there is no judgement in this space at CanadaHub. Northan uses her many charms and conversational skills to encourage her stage partner to open up to his date, and thus to the audience. More than that, her persona is so lively and empathetic that she brings out the absolute best version of the person she’s talking to. He cannot help but shine in her presence.

Our leading lady in red is the perfect date. Confident, witty, curious, vulnerable, honest, reassuring, whimsical, easygoing, and a true romantic. She embraces the humour of every moment, while also allowing the awkward moments to lie. After all, what’s a first date without a bit of discomfort? Her conversational style feels so natural, we can see the effect on her date as he settles into the format and learns to follow her lead. She somehow manages to turn stories about exes and ceramics into insightful life observations, hinting at a deeper understanding of human nature than you might expect from a droll French clown.

Despite the fact that this is improvisation, the performance flows so smoothly we could almost imagine the male participant was an audience plant. The rest of the cast and crew do an admirable job of keeping up with the twists and turns of the date, throwing in a few roadblocks (sometimes literally) to keep things interesting. Blind Date has been running for over ten years and, after attending one of their Fringe performances, it’s not hard to see why. Catch the show before it leaves Edinburgh, and let the outer shell of cynicism that we build around ourselves fall away as you become reawakened to the possibilities of love and human connection.

Reviews by Kate Nora

Traverse Theatre

Clybourne Park

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

More Myself Than I Am

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

The War of the Worlds

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Found Footage Festival: Volume 9

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Two Hearts: The Comeback Tour

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

'Balls to the wall theatre!' **** (GetDown.ca). One actor. One audience member. One blind date. A sexy French clown goes on a blind date with a willing gentleman from the audience. Warning: improv, naughty clowning, strong language, spiritual nudity, hilarity! Sold out across Canada! 'A flight of theatrical fancy that is absolutely magical' (Toronto Star). 'Very funny!' (New York Times). 'The comic agility of the best of the Saturday Night Live legends!' (Calgary Herald). 'Northan is gorgeous, aggressive, coy, heartfelt and sexy all rolled into one' (Will Knoll). 'The perfect marriage of theatre and comedy!' (NOW Magazine).

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