Deranged Dating

Credit: Eesie Pretorius

Late Monday night I found the Victoria Event Centre buzzing with fringers ready to see Deranged Dating. South African comedian and stuntwoman Shirley Kirchmann took the stage, commanding the room with her mix of stand-up and absurd storytelling.

At 35 years of age Shirley was doing something unacceptable – she was single! In her performance, she delves into this ‘problem’ and her efforts to solve it through online dating and matchmaking. The show flows like a series of vignettes, hedged by stand-up jokes and audience interaction. The humour is often crass, and as Kirchmann notes jokes occasionally ‘cross the line.’

Kirchmann’s is fierce and hilarious. I was not able to get into the show because it is not my type of humour and I did not connect to the topic. Yet I imagine many people will enjoy Kirchmann’s over the top account. For those who have been a deranged dater, suffering through terrible dates and online matchmaking, this is the show for you.

Deranged Dating plays at the Victoria Event Centre. For showtimes click here.




An actor constantly wears a dinosaur costume on stage – do you understand their character is actually wearing one? Your loved one is diagnosed with terminal cancer – do you understand they are going to die? Through gentle humour and touching sadness, Paleoncology slowly draws in the audience and helps them understand.

Leaellyn, or Lee for short, is in her early twenties. Her older brother Daniel has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Lee supports him while trying to understand who she is without him. She finds comfort in her love of dinosaurs – lots of dinosaurs.

Moon Dinosaur Theatre’s production adeptly brings together disparate topics of family dynamics, personal potential, the loss of a loved one and dinosaurs. Kira Hall’s solo performance as Lee is outstanding, enhanced through the use of puppets, voice recordings and overhead projections. The other characters are largely seen through Lee’s eyes. The parents seem flat and strangely distant, but Daniel takes shape beautifully.

Paleoncology is my favourite show to-date, because it awakens the desire for connection over distances. Not only physical distances, also constructed ones of habitual small talk and fear of vulnerability. Like Lee and many people who tend to be reserved, I have struggled to connect with people I love. I am so thankful to have stepped into this show as it reminded me of the value of being vulnerable and expressing love for others.

Paleoncology plays at the Downtown Activity Centre. For showtimes click here.

The Rise of Basement Boy


In a celebration of nerd culture, The Rise of Basement Boy tells the story of Archie Clarkson, a teenager who values geek culture so much the world outside his basement holds little value. Then one day the pizza delivery person is the girl of Archie’s dreams, and he has to venture into the real world or lose the game of love.IMG_0044

Writer Shane Campbell and cast members Markus Spodzieja, Hayley McCurdy and Francis Melling stopped by CFUV’s studio to discuss this musical comedy and perform a song from the show, entitled ‘Weird in a Good Way.’

Basement Boy opens on Friday, August 22 at the Downtown Activity Centre