Amy Clarke’s debut production I Like Chicken is a light-hearted look at online dating, exposing the painful truth and sneaky white lies people choose to project themselves in the digital ether.
Set in Mr Rush’s café in Teneriffe, a lone girl sits at a table playing her ukulele and singing a funny ditty about internet dating. One by one the rest of the cast enter, with their digital device of choice, and settle in for a bevvy and a bit of keyboard tickling.
In true cafe-style, the audience were free to purchase drinks before the show so there was no need for additional lighting or audio; we were blessed with the real thing. And since the seating was very intimate there were no issues with amplification, except in some parts of the opening song.
The half hour show saw the cast changing characters several times as they introduced themselves via their online dating profile. The eight member ensemble included: Eloise Fisher, Daniel Hurst, Madeleine Little, Madolyn Peters, Duncan Moir, Didi Leslie, Megan Thomas & Josh Crossley. To clearly denote the change of character (apart from voice and character), a symbolic piece of costuming such as a hat, scarf, or jacket was all that was needed.
There were several funny audience participation moments, with characters giving a high-five or a trying to dance with an unsuspecting member of the public. One such moment involving a mobile phone was perhaps too indulgent, and bordering on uncomfortable on the night of review, but it is likely this interaction changes from show to show.
The concept of a show about internet dating has a lot of potential and I Like Chicken has the hallmarks of good character development, executed well by talented actors. However the play didn’t progress beyond the opening statements. It would have been interesting to have one or two online conversations/relationships play out amongst the café dwellers to give a storyline arc to the piece. A little more development time would serve this piece well.