While there’s probably an assumption that the proliferation of dating apps and websites has made dating in the modern world easier, there’s likely to be a large group who consider the opposite to be true. I Would Like To Get To Know You, a collaboration between Feral Foxy Ladies, George Cheetham and Kaleido Film Collective, seeks to highlight what it means to be in love through a mixture of recorded interviews, film, and physical theatre.
There’s no linear storyline as such, it’s more a collection of scenes. In the same way the creatives say that it is a collaborative piece, with everyone involved doing a little bit of everything, the production itself is comprised of a number of elements, a guide to using Tinder, a vocabulary lesson, and a shopping list for love, all come together with amazing synchronicity. In one scene, performer Katherine Vince draws out a large complex sketch in perfect time to the on-screen facsimile.
In general, I Would Like To Get To Know You is a comedy, perhaps ironically calling out societal stereotypes; in a filmed scene our leading lady has a date night with a vibrator, resulting in plenty of laughs from the audience. It does seem to presuppose that anyone who is single is sad about it, and will never feel whole until they find a life partner, or at the very least someone to spend the night with. ‘Ultimate Failure’ is a particularly amusing song about seeing friends with a spouse, a nice house and a dog, and wondering why you can’t even find a date.
The music from musician and performer George Cheetham, is definitely enjoyable and cleverly constructed, blending well around the recorded interviews. Cheetham is the strongest of the singers, and more solos from him would have been welcome. That said, this isn’t intended to be a musical, it intends to lay bare the thoughts and feelings which run so deep whether in or out of love.
The real-life interviews provide useful insight to the impetus which has driven this performance piece. The genuine opinions of Tinder users, or the best friend alone at a wedding, could never be presented so authentically without the recordings, the production then takes these real-world scenarios and runs with them, creating a pleasing comedy.
Though it lacks traditional structure, and often appears haphazard in delivery, the overall message of I Would Like To Get To Know You is fairly universal, and everyone will be able to recognise elements of it. The collaboration of all parties can be seen in the each of the six parts which the production is split into. It clearly articulates that love and dating can be complicated, but if we don’t take it too seriously, we can all see the funny side of finding love with a swipe right.