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Bit parts: Garry Starr Performs Everything @swkplay

Garry Starr Performs Everything is a bare-bones (and bare buttocks) tribute to the theatre. Theatre may be in trouble, and audiences are down, but Garry Starr aims to save the theatre and bring back to the masses every style of theatre possible. As long as each style involves wearing a transparent white leotard or a skimpy thong. And tassels. It's part comedy, part physical comedy and part perv at Gary's physical prowess. The sentiment "if you've got it, flaunt it" applies here. So here we are with a show that has been around for some years and is having its first proper London run at the Southwark Playhouse (Borough) through Christmas. The premise is that Garry Starr (played by Damien Warren-Smith) has left the Royal Shakespeare Company over artistic differences. He is now on a mission to save the theatre from misrepresentation and worthy interpretations by doing things such as a two-minute Hamlet, recreating scenes from a Pinter play using unsuspecting audience

Chance encounters girlfriends take: Blind Date

It is unusual to be raving about a show that nobody else will see, but Blind Date which is having a limited seven week run at the Charing Cross theatre, is an improvised show that is original and funny where no show will be quite the same, but where each show no doubt shows the magic, sweetness and humanity that arises from chance encounters.

Keeping it all together is Rebecca Northan as the optimistic Mimi, who finds herself stood up on her blind date. Rather than let that get her down, she turns to the audience to help her out. She wears a clown nose, speaks with a French accent and has a great set of legs. What then happens for the next ninety minutes is a masterclass in improvisation and working with the audience.

Northan, who hails from Canada, and her show has won several awards. She is the recipient of two 2012 Canadian Comedy Awards for "Best Female Improviser" and "Best Comedic Play" for Blind Date, a winner of the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Award for Improvisation, and a 2010 Betty Mitchell Award (Calgary) for "Best Female in a Musical or Comedy."

Charing Cross Theatre, is transformed into a lively little cabaret scene with red curtains and sexy music. Before the show begins, Northan is talking to members of the audience along with her fellow cast members. For reasons that will become clear later, this plays an important part in the show. Her supporting cast also work to keep the show finely balanced as scenes move and you never quite can tell whether what things are happening are real or not.

Her date the night I dropped in was a young man called "Barty" who already drew attention to himself before the show as he was dressed in gym gear. It transpires that he rode his bike to the theatre but was there with his girlfriend. He became the surprising hero of the show despite interjections from other men in the audience.

Whether it is comedy, stand up, a social experiment or a combination of all, it is a fascinating, sweet and funny night at the theatre. If you have a boyfriend, you should take him along to the show, but save the surprise...

After the show it was left to @Johnnyfoxlondon and I to decipher what we have seen in an Audioboo. At the time I think we were not so sure... But I think both of us want to go back and see it again...
listen to ‘Blind Date Boo’ on Audioboo

If you want to delve more into the background of the show and the origin of her clown character Mimi, there is an interview with her on Canadian radio below. 

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