Somebody Out There Loves Me

Peculiar Spectacles’ Somebody Out There Loves Me is another theatrical examination of the trials and tribulations of online dating. Based around a fictional (yet oddly familiar sounding) dating app Kindlr, which claims to be ’99% effective’, it explores what might happen to those who fall into the abyss of the unmatchable 1%. Alex, our protagonist, has unfortunately succumbed to such a fate. Over the next 45 minutes we see her desperate attempts to investigate how such an app might work.

It is difficult to shed new light on the much-discussed topic of online dating.

It is difficult to shed new light on the much-discussed topic of online dating. With a current abundance of theatrical discourses on such issues, Peculiar Spectacles’ piece sadly brought little to the conversation. Instead of making any new points on the matter, the show consisted of a few half-hearted replays of some timid dating experiences. For example – meeting for a first-date coffee; a drunken near-miss after a few too many; an awkward exchange of belongings between two bitter exes and, for some bizarre reason, an utterly random game of chess played between two ex-lovers.

It was hard to see exactly where Alex’s investigative journey was taking her. Apart from the above mentioned dating moments, there was little else in the way of action. A few conversations between Alex and her housemate Laura did little to relive this lack of happenings. I get the impression they were meant to be simplistic and heartfelt, but the dialogue was too unrealistic and far too functional for my liking (has anyone ever said to their best friend “I’m glad you found someone” whilst absent-mindedly doing a job application?).

The characters were as functional as the dialogue; unconvincing and unlikeable. There was no sense of any real relationships between them and the acting on the whole was poor. In addition, the studio space the show was set in cried out for some form of impactful set or costume to give it a bit of a professional sheen, but unfortunately its lack of stylistic continuity rendered it a little too GCSE drama.

At the end, there was no sense of conclusion. Perhaps this was part of the point, but on leaving the theatre it was a struggle to think of even one thing the show had either demonstrated or taught. There is a fine line between simplicity and mere thoughtlessness. Sadly Peculiar Spectacles crossed over onto the wrong side with this mediocre production.

Reviews by Rose Collard

Canons' Gait

Off the Top

★★★★
Gilded Balloon

Sparrow-Folk: SuBIRDia

★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Somebody Out There Loves Me

★★

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The Blurb

Live happily ever after with Kindlr, the new 99% effective dating app. That’s what they say. But why doesn’t it work for Alex? Compelled to find a soulmate, the unlucky 1% start to question our obsession with romance – an infatuation exploited by Kindlr. Praise for Peculiar Spectacles (Oxford University): ‘Touches without preaching’ **** (Blue Stockings, OxfordStudent.com). ‘Daring … witness the rewards of their ambition’ ***** (His Dark Materials, OxfordCultureReview.com).

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