Lobster, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

Modern dating for straight women is a horror show of dick pics, ghosting, casual sex, stealthing, quashed hopes and heartbreak. Yet Polly keeps at it, convinced she’ll eventually find her lobster – a baffling and tasty creature that will commit to her for life. Fragile and fresh out of a relationship with a guy she thought was the one, she enthusiastically dips her toe back into dating in this cheerful account of her hunt for The One.

Polly is accompanied by projected collages of Tindr profiles, messages from prospective dates and other comms from the men she has, is, or is no longer dating. There’s a bullet point list of her faults from one guy, an erection photo from other and plenty of other generally odd artefacts. These provide good supporting evidence to her stories of first – and often last – dates. They all have a humorous bent and avoid genuinely scary or dangerous scenarios that are also part of dating as a heterosexual woman which suits a comedy but doesn’t give a full spectrum of dating experiences.

Written and performed by Gemma Harvey, the monologue flows easily between accounts of her dates and pressures from family and friends. Her sadness and desperation comes through clearly, though her optimism is the bedrock her script is built on. It’s charming and sweet, if rather naive, making for a refreshing take on the cesspit that is dating by app today.

Lobster runs through 25 August in Edinburgh.

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