With a highly focused narrative, The Infinite Line Between Dating and Dying never runs the risk of veering off-course. That said, there does seem to be the odd ‘shock value’ event – I wasn’t sure as the show went on how the ‘dying’ part would come into proceedings. But when it does suddenly appear, it’s quite harrowing, and Her (Ruth Marsden) response to Him (Kieran Iyer, who skilfully plays several men, though not all at once) is both a ludicrous and revealing account of what people can do and how they behave, influenced by what they believe to be love.
There’s little logical about love – indeed, can love be love if it made perfect sense? The Universe (Sónia Martins) is aptly-titled, portrayed as anyone else essential to make a scene work – a housemate, a waiter, a close friend of Him, whatever. Martins pulls it all off seemingly effortlessly, to her credit.
But with several stories, each complete in itself, only coming together in a rapid epilogue (and even then only loosely), it’s rather like watching a quintuple bill of short shows rather than a single play.
Still, this production doesn’t skimp on props – the creatives have even managed to get their hands on one of those famous Nando’s cockerel sticks (the restaurant chain claims they have tracking tags in them). Even in large scale West End productions, a scene that happens to be in a restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean actual cooked food is consumed. It all makes a difference, as do the various costumes.
Her indulges in online dating (goodness me, this is grammatically tortuous…) and carries on meeting in person oddball after oddball. It’s remarkable that she is left intact at the end of it all, able to laugh off her eventful but unproductive dating year. But then there’s a slightly too neat ending, as though success at dating will only come when one stops trying quite so hard and enjoys the ride. It seemed to me to give fate an undeserving authority.
But then, I am not personally remotely interested in romance, so this production was more educating than entertaining for me. I remain convinced that I have better things to do with my evenings (like reviewing shows!) than chancing it with a potential lover in an awkward and distinctly British manner. I will go so far as to thank this show for confirming my assumptions about the vagaries of internet dating.
The show feels incomplete without at least an indication of what happened to all of the five Hims afterwards, rather than just some. Whilst not quite as laugh-out-loud funny as I was led to believe it would be, there are some very naturalistic and credible moments. You know a show has fully engaged its audience when there’s an audible ‘ahh’ as one of the Hims finds himself walking away.
This is an absorbing, intriguing and heartfelt look at the search for love and happiness in the twenty-first century. I can’t say I’ve come across anyone in real-life quite like any of the Hims – I genuinely don’t know how some of these characters survive living in modern society. But such is the level of detail in the script that I did find certain elements relatable, and the cast’s comic timing is absolutely spot on. Best seen (in all seriousness) as part of a date.
Review by Chris Omaweng
Namashkar is proud to present their début production an original, quirky and light-hearted piece about that thing that everyone has tried (or at least heard of!) On-Line dating. The story follows a year long pursuit of “Her” curiosity onto various internet datingapps and the 5 different “Him” (s) she meets under the oblivious influence of “The Universe”. We’re not going to say these characters are (not) based on real-life ones!
Produced by Namashkar, written and directed by Natasha Chandra, the cast includes Sonia Martins, Kieran Iyer and Ruth Marsden.
1st – 5th December 2015
Tuesday – Saturday: 7.00pm
The White Bear Theatre
138 Kennington Park Rd, London SE11 4DJ, United Kingdom