I wasn't sure what I would make of this comic play, about the monstrosity of dating app Tinder, delivered by two women in morph suits. And it's safe to say that I didn't leave the theatre pondering the humanity of the online dating world. But I did leave with a baffled smile on my face, and the feeling of having had a good old belly laugh.
The plot of Totes Inappropes, which is part of the pay-what-you-want Free Festival, is (to use their own words) "a thread of air" within the show. Two thespians, Rebecca Darmody and Annalea Doyle, are performing a play about Tinder to an audience which includes a third-rate agent – but their third actor hasn't turned up. The two remaining performers continue to try and make the play a success, resulting in some entertaining chaos as they desperately try to re-enact the missing parts. The plot, meanwhile, dances merrily into some audience participation, improvisation, and tenuously-linked sketches about on-line dating.
The show, despite having a self-admittedly loose storyline, also has some wonderfully funny moments; watching Darmody (who has possibly some of the best-timed facial expressions I have ever seen) impersonating characters from The Bill really made me chuckle. And the improvised comedy that is thrown into the show was a real crowd-pleaser. It should be noted too that the performers do a fantastic job of making use of the space they find themselves in – the stage is clunky and awkward, with two separated audiences sat on opposite sides of the room, but the situation is managed seamlessly and both groups feel equally included.
Not all of the piece works. Some of the more theatrical jokes seemed to dead hang in the air (a performers' performers joke for you there) and the lack of cohesion in the storyline left me quite confused at times. These elements, though, were few and far between, and the whole audience seemed to leave with a smile – albeit a slightly perplexed one – on their faces.
So Totes Inappropes gave me some great laughs (fart and penis jokes never grow old for me), and I also enjoyed the chemistry between the performers. You just can't help but enjoy a piece of comedy when it's so clear that the performers absolutely love what they are doing… and if you can forgive the loose plot and slightly tricky staging, then you will love it too.