Kiss Chase by (as part of Breaking Out)
Wednesdays and Saturdays at 19:00, until 7th July
Runs 1 hr, no interval
Veronica Stein, 20th June, 2018
Something out of the ordinary
Upon entering The Bunker for this selection of the Breaking Out Festival, one is immediately primed for something out of the ordinary of most outings to the theatre. The stage is filled with audience members and chairs, not actors (so we think) or set pieces. You are assigned a color and a number along with a clipboard to specify your location during the piece. The ‘chase’ begins.
Kiss Chase, written and directed by Hannah Samuels, is part immersive theatre, part monologue play, and largely speed dating (as platonic as you wish). Saturated with games and activities to break the ice between one and the people one meets along the chase, the evening is emceed by Jim (Scott Patrick) and Ruth (Rayyah McCaul) who bring amicable grins and a dose of family drama to the proceedings. As the interactions continue, several verbatim monologues are delivered from someone who could very well be sitting across from you, mostly regarding the trials and tribulations of love in London- the capital of loneliness.
The piece could certainly do with some more focusing of it wants to achieve. The monologues are delivered seamlessly and the general effect of the random inclusion into a stranger’s life is effective and unpredictable, but the piece could do with more of these and less of the narrative introduced about Jim’s father. There isn’t enough time spent on it to make it significant, and the monologues could be more structurally effective if there were several more.
Kiss Chase is refreshing in that it doesn’t seem to seek irony regarding dating apps and romance in general, but genuinely seems to seek connection. The best part of the evening is the cross section of people you meet, which is rarely the feedback one has after a trip to the theatre, but perhaps this comments on its success as theatre in the first place. Regardless of this criticism, it’s a unique experience that reminds us all that we’re all in a kiss chase together, and we’ve all had hurdles on the way and hurdles to come.
Max: Giovanni Bienne
Ben: Topher Collins
Fiona: Zoe Gibbons (Niya Hill at the performance reviewed)
Ruth: Rayyah McCaul
Tom: Andrew McDonald
Jim: Scott Patrick
Katie: Peyvand Sadeghian
Amy: Hannah Samuels
Director: Hannah Samuels
Dramaturg: Caitlin McEwan
Video/Lighting Designer: Rich Maskey
Set Designer: Rachel Mills Powell
Original Music: Scott Patrick