Shirley Kirchmann brings her stand-up routine and solo show Deranged Dating to Ottawa Fringe all the way from South Africa.
Should you see it?
Before I start this review I must get some things out of the way. The first is that Avante Garde is a horrible venue for theatre. It fills up quickly. There isn’t enough room or seating. The bartenders are extremely pushy on enforcing a drink minimum, despite the fact that you have already paid for your show ticket. I arrived 15 minutes early to an already full house and managed to make a seat for myself at the back of the room.
The show started 10 minute late. Partly due to finding people seats and spaces to sit and Kirchmann’s explanation that she runs on African time, so she’s surprised she’s even starting 10 minutes late. While the show does start late, it does end on time.
Once started Kirchmann plays her auntie who has set up an intervention for Shirley who has started the dreaded internet dating to find a mate. Once the character is exhausted, despite her being cruelly funny and unusual, Kirchmann takes the stage as herself and proceeds to do a 30 minute stand-up routine with her misadventures in dating which takes us through the joys and perils of online dating, meeting old acquaintances on Facebook, going to a match maker and trying to meet people at the club.
The show is very funny. Kirchmann is a great entertainer. Yet I really wish I could have seen this show in any other venue. Kirchmann plays to the front of the house the entire show. It would be hard to play to the back of the venue though, given on how long Avante Garde is. Kirchmann does her best to adapt to this venue and does deliver a very funny and touching set that you just can’t help leave with a smile on your face.
What did you think of Deranged Dating? What was your favourite of Shirley’s misadventures in dating? Join the discussion in the comments below.