I saw Robyn Perkins perform a few days ago and I had great things to say about her ten minute preview at Impulse Control, but Mating Selection, not so much. What happened to the woman who instantly had people in hysterics when it wasn’t even her show?
Mating Selection started out fine. She joked about the horror of dating apps, Tinder, Hinge etc. she singled out the one couple in the room (easier to heckle) and complained about what a dating disaster she is with irrefutable proof, so that the audience’s consoling “Aww, you can’t be that bad”, would be redundant.
So how did we get from here to the shows end where she basically told the audience that they were shit?
When Robyn was telling the audience that she was the happiest she had ever been and that she didn’t need love, but she wanted it with the same enthusiasm that she wanted a 6 inch Subway, it seemed like she was trying to convince herself too much. If she wasn’t happy being single, then why spend the next hour listening to her joke about it?
The show lacked originality. I’m not crying plagiarism, but her jokes felt used. Love is a game, people are hypocrites, there are double standards between men and women, love and sex, well…yes…thank you for that. These facts are as old as time, women recite these harsh truths like a mantra: it didn’t stop them dating then and it's not going to stop them dating now.
I wish that was all of it. I'd give her three stars and call it a day because despite it all, she is actually quite likeable but unfortunately, there is more.
After relentlessly pestering the man in the front row, who was there with his boyfriend and who it seemed she came to rely on for a cheap laugh, she started to tell a story about a show she went on called Date Night: three men, one woman, you get the gist. Her suitors consisted of a married man, a “hot” 17 year old (she was 37) and a man with down-syndrome. She then asked us, her audience, to vote on who we would’ve chosen in that situation.
Long story short, Robyn chose the man with down syndrome because she felt pressured by the audience, not because she wanted to. Robyn wanted the 17 year old who was there with his mum. Why did she tell us this? Robyn still feels bad about feigning interest in him after all this time and decided to make a show about it so that we as an audience, could prove that we would’ve done the same thing and absolve her of her ‘shallowness’ and guilt.
That was the point of no return. I had lost sight of why I was there; what was her intention? Was she planning on giving us advice on how to enjoy being single, when she failed to mention that she’s now in a relationship? She also failed to mention that she was bisexual until the end of the show but for some reason, made the whole show about dating men. Why?
Instead of trying to redeem what started out as such a promising show, Robyn decided she would end it by telling her paying audience that we were not her favourite and that if we were having fun we should tell our “fucking faces”.
She’s here all Fringe folks. If you do go and see Mating Selection, just make sure you laugh. Robyn is performing @ Underbelly Daisy, Bristo Place.