REVIEW: Kiss Chase (The Bunker) ★★★★
An hour of innovative, immersive, interactive theatrical speed dating! Confused? You will be!
The Bunker is a new off-west end theatre situated in an old car park! Squeezed between The Mernier Chocolate Factory and The Flat Iron Square, it is part of the improvement of this previously rather grim stretch near London Bridge.
Upon entering for Kiss Chase a sticky label with either a red or blue spot and a number is handed out and the instruction is to find the corresponding seat! The room fills up with somewhat bemused “audience” members and everyone takes their chairs – blues facing reds. We are introduced to the evening by Jim – Scott Patrick – with a little ditty on his guitar, followed by Ruth – Rayyah McCaul – introduced as the creator of Kiss Chase. She explains the reason behind Kiss Chase as being to assist in making contacts in an impersonal big city; then we are straight and into an icebreaker session.
The evening follows what I assume is a standard speed dating practice – blues stay seated but after 2 or 3 minutes the reds are up and moving on to the next seat. Jim and Ruth take us through various exercises to get the conversation flowing and each time we get to fill in our sheet to say whether we would like to stay in touch or not.
Interspersed into the speed dating are sections where the actors amongst us are spot lit and tell something of their own story of why they are there.
I have to say this was a very entertaining hour although I suspect for those wishing to speed date this would be too random and the telling of the personal stories perhaps not welcome. For those looking for theatrical entertainment, there was probably not enough of the personal stories and too much audience participation.
However, I found it interesting although uncomfortable at times but thoroughly enjoyable. The evening was well organised and presented and the personal stories were well performed, in particular Peyvand Sadeghian as Katie.
Reviewed by Kirsty Heath