In the last years, online dating apps - and the ever-more-absurd scenarios that facilitate - have emerged as a fruitful mine of comic reflections. This year's Fringe has several such shows. Lobster is a fun-filled addition to the budding sub-genre; a lively likeable and funny one-woman show about (not) finding love online.
A lively likeable and funny one-woman show about (not) finding love online.
Polly (Gemma Harvey) is fresh from having her heart broken by her soulmate and keen to get back out there and date. Her mother is nagging her, her brother is happily settled down, her friends are all coupled up, and she’s consigned to the singletons table at their weddings - where tactless great aunts ask probing questions. Resigning herself to match-making modernity, Polly downloads a selection of well-known dating apps and the misadventures begin. From awkward dates, rejections and fake numbers, to ghosting and dick pics - being a woman dating men gets worse and worse.
A stellar performance from Harvey, who also wrote the script, brings the whole show together. It relies on her relentlessly high-energy performance to work and she’s constantly pivoting from one character to another, acting out both sides of a dialogue. She keeps it funny, and fast, but also introduces the occasional note of poignancy into the piece.
The set is a simple arrangement of piled crates across which Harvey sits, perches, lies or clambers - depending on where the scene is set. An overhead projector shows the (overwhelmingly undesirable) profiles and messages of the guys Polly swipes through on a phone which is never far from her hand. The effect works well.
Overall, the whole show is slick and well-polished. The content isn’t life changing, but it’s a good show and an enjoyable way to pass 50 minutes. Oh, and it’s got some fun trivia in there too.