Dates

A decidedly younger and ‘hipper’ crowd gathered around a small table at the centre of The C Royale stage. The room was intimate, and at times claustrophobic – easily interpreted as a metaphor for the current dating climate that Dates aimed to portray.

Easy going and silly, Dates plays true to the double entendre of its name.

While it is certainly a topic that one could make the case is far overdone, Dates had enough small pleasant laughs sprinkled throughout to carry the piece for its hour run time. The play, marketed as a string of sketches, is more a series of small, bleak vignettes of worst scenario possible dating scenes. We see a woman who thinks her blind date is actually blind, and a granddaughter who must teach her grandmother what Tinder is. The scenes are simple, cute and easily digestible. It’s not groundbreaking work, and the nods to feminism sometimes seem a little heavy handed for an audience that surely knows a woman can pay for her meal on a date and not have it be A Thing, but Dates is a fun watch throughout.

Where the piece really shines is during the scene that takes place in vaguely medieval times, except for the fact that they have Tinder. The ridiculousness of Tinder and its app peers is truly highlighted when taken out of the modern world and dropped into a time when women wed at the age of twelve, and then to their cousins. The scene works wonders to show the absurdity of apps in a light hearted manner, and is the most interesting part of a performance that explores bizarre dating scenarios.

Easy going and silly, Dates plays true to the double entendre of its name – if you would rather think about what would happen if you went on a date with a date instead of the more pressing horrors of dating, this is the show for you.

Reviews by Blair Simmons

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★★★
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

An original sketch comedy performed by Oxford University students, satirising the trials and tribulations of modern dating. In an era of social media, dating apps and third wave feminism, traditional dating practices must be negotiated amidst the changing tide. A practice that once referred to a chaperone accompanying two courting lovebirds on a country frolic now describes a hook-up in an ASDA car park. Ambiguity over the acceptability of your dowry to potential suitors has been replaced by ambiguity over an aubergine emoji. What is the result of these changing social norms, gender roles and dating practices? Comedic potential.