Presented by Debrief
Reviewed 3 March 2017
Imagine all the worst dates anyone has ever been on put into one horrendously cringe-worthy, yet utterly hilarious show and you have the absurdly wonderful Tinder Surprise!
Young adults, Mike (Brad McCarthy) and Fiona (Serika Young), are looking for love, but only seem to find disaster as we witness their horrific Tinder dates, un-trustworthy advice from friends, speed-dating nightmares, crazy mothers and, of course, almost making out with a very attractive cousin (it’s happened to all of us… right?).
The dating pool can be shallow, and Tinder Surprise doesn’t make you feel too hopeful about the talent available in Adelaide. There are vampire-like, creepy gentlemen, crazy-cat women, the sexually adventurous elderly, nerds who spit when they talk, drug addicts, hookers, nuns, flashers, guys who openly pick their nose in public, and of course, Nazis.
The cast of characters and the situations are so very relatable to today’s audience; whether you see your best friend in the girl who goes through loving three different guys within the period of a week, to the guy that just doesn’t shut up about sex despite never having it. This is an incredibly relatable show…
Both lead actors, McCarthy and Young, play normal, bordering on boring normal people desperately trying to find another normal person in the dating stratosphere. Their reactions are appropriate to the situations they find themselves in, although McCarthy in particular created wonderfully humorous reactions to the horrific dates he finds himself on.
Bek O’Neill steals almost every scene she is in with her raw enthusiasm and natural ability to mould herself into completely different characters. One minute O’Neil is authentically embodying a crazy, clingy and overly-affectionate young lady who appears almost as a live cartoon character; the next she has become a tough, beer-sculling ultra-bogan who is rather frightening in her overtly sexual ways (think Melissa McCarthy’s character from Bridesmaids). O’Neill is unfaultable.
Mentions must also be made of Daniel Forder and Jordan Henry who vividly bring to life every scene they are in. They have perfected the art of impersonating the weird and wacky oddballs who populate our world, and both have a wonderful feel for comedic timing.
Overall though, the male actors outshine the female actors, although that isn’t to say they don’t have their moments. The fact is that they are not consistent throughout the show. In some scenes (especially between Sarika Young and Jess Burnett on the couch) their voices are too low to fill the theatre and you have to strain your ears to hear what they are saying. This, though, can be easily remedied.
Unfortunately some scenes are just a tad too long and lose their humour which makes the show at minor points feel like it is dragging, but apart from this, Director Theodore Girgolas (who also plays the flamboyantly gay bartender who bears witness to the horrible dates on-stage), has done a fantastic job.
Overall, Tinder Surprise is a hilarious look at the modern world of dating and is well worth the experience, so do yourself a favour and swipe right.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 3.5
Venue: Main Theatre at Goodwood Institute Theatre, 166 Goodwood Rd, Goodwood
Season: 3 – 5 March
Duration: 90 mins
Tickets: $15 – $20