Film & TV

Adelaide’s Emily Taheny On Dating Disasters And Comedy Life

Comedian Peter Helliar’s narrative comedy on ABC It’s a Date has returned for its second season of giggles and romantic mishaps and this week Adelaide’s own Emily Taheny stars as Manda. Here’s our interview with her.

Its-A-Date-Series-2Comedian Peter Helliar’s narrative comedy on ABC It’s a Date has returned for its second season of giggles and romantic mishaps.

Featuring a plethora of appearances by Aussie entertainment royalty like Rove McManus, Susie Porter, Magda Szubanski and Eddie Perfect, the weekly show about overcoming obstacles in the dating world airs episode three tonight.

This week’s show asks the question, ‘What could possibly go wrong on a date?’ and Adelaide’s own Emily Taheny (pictured) stars as Manda to help answer that query.

Celebrating their first anniversary, Manda and partner Winston discover what can and does go wrong on a camping date.

“My character is an extension of an episode last year,” Taheny says. “It comes back to this couple a year later having their first anniversary date. He has an idea he wants to go to a convention but she want to go camping and because she’s booked it, she wins.”

But the camping trip isn’t as peaceful and relaxing as Manda would like; rather, it’s fraught with drama and hilarity, which Taheny says is loosely based on personal experience.

“We were asked [by Helliar] to share our experiences about camping and I had a trip a few years ago in New Zealand with a boyfriend I’d been seeing for two years,” she says.

“We went on two big treks and we broke up at Auckland airport on the way home. I spent the whole way back on the plane with a blanket over my head crying. That bit doesn’t make it in there but there are a few other similarities!”

Taheny, originally from Yorke Peninsula and now based in Melbourne, has had a few dating disasters to inspire her performance for this role.

“A few years ago I was single and playing the field and I went to the same bar two weeks running with a different person. I ran into a friend who had met the first date the week before and when I introduced him to the next date, he said, ‘Yeah, I met you last week’. I think it’s because everyone looks the same in Melbourne because everyone has beards,” she laughs.

Taheny has enjoyed a successful career since graduating from the Centre for Performing Arts (now AC Arts) in Adelaide.

After graduation, she co-wrote a show called, Fiona, her Sister and Some Guy, with sister, stand-up comedian Fiona O’Loughlin.

They performed it in Warooka on the Yorke Peninsula, then took it to Melbourne Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Fringe which launched both of their careers.

Currently working on Mad as Hell with fellow South Australian Shaun Micallef, Taheney has a full schedule of exciting roles coming up in the near future.

“I’m doing Mad as Hell until Christmas and I’ve got a couple of films coming up. One called The Heckler, an independent film made in Melbourne, and I’ve got a role in Now Add Honey a film with Portia de Rossi,” she says.

“I’ve also done a project with Country Arts SA going into the Immigration Museum. We’ve created a fictitious town having its 150th anniversary as part of Adelaide Fringe [2015].”

Tune in tonight on ABC to see Emily Taheny tackle a treacherous anniversary camping adventure on It’s a Date.

Interviewed by Libby Parker


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