Guest reviewer: Evie Freeman
KISS CHASE is an interactive evening of speed dating. It gives you the chance to connect to a room of strangers, regardless of your usual romantic ‘type’, over an hour of games and activities. Within these games, planted actors within the crowd break into verbatim speeches, constructed from hours of interviews, give you an insight into the lives of people within Europe’s loneliest city: London. It’s a chance to think about your identity within society and to explore the relationships we have with family, friends and romantic partners, and the reasons they may not always work out. The games are easy enough to understand and the time flies by.
As someone who isn’t normally one to unload their secrets on strangers, you feel unusually comfortable with the others in the room. Chatting to my partner about the inspirational people in my life and the advice I would give to my past self due to my own personal experiences wasn’t awkward in the slightest – surprisingly.
The spread of diverse actors within the audience is subtle and their speeches are entirely unsuspecting – each situation is something that someone in the room can connect to. Personally, three out of the four people I spoke to ended up being actors, which threw me, as I wasn’t expecting any of their answers during the activities to be pre-rehearsed. I was also too invested in their stories to even consider them to be actors, which made it even more shocking when they ended up in spotlights.
The time you spend with each person is very brief so although you feel able to share for the moments in each pair, making a genuine connection and filling out their connections questionnaire truthfully is difficult. It is, however, such a refreshing concept to speak to different people and the verbatim stories make you think about a deeper layer of the people you pass every day on the streets of London.
I may have not found a romantic connection with anyone, but I did meet a new friend, who I’m going for drinks with next week!
My verdict? The simple songs which open and close the show (explaining the night and the rules) are simple and funny, the cast are strong and believable, and the two presenters create a comfortable atmosphere for everyone in the room.
KISS CHASE runs at The Bunker Theatre as part of the BREAKING OUT season until 7 July 2018. Tickets are available online or from the box office, including a limited number of £10 tickets for U30s and £22 double bill passes.