Play review: How Not To Get Laid

By Morgan Shandro

At some point in all of our lives, we experience problems in the areas of dating, relationships, love and sex — or most likely a combination of these. How Not To Get Laid is a play that teaches exactly what its title suggests, with two actors who take turns in a series of short, humorous solo performances which explore some dating and relationship mishaps that many people can probably relate to.

Being able to relate to the scenarios presented by both actors in the production is a big part of what gives this little play its charm. The monologues are delivered the way a friend might tell a story, by acting out the parts of both themselves and the people they are telling you about. If performed by less talented actors, this technique may have fallen flat and failed to achieve the humour it was striving for, but in the case of this production, the actors pull it off well and successfully used it to enhance their monologues.

Supported by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre, the play advertises itself as being primarily about the pursuit of the physical, but it actually comes across as leaning more heavily on the emotional side of dating. The scenes focus mostly on meeting potential partners and show how miscommunication, general cluelessness and accidentally committing a social faux pas can mess up your chances of a relationship, with less emphasis on sex as the end goal. This is a good thing, however, because it means the play stays away from themes like the “pickup artist” philosophy. Instead, it keeps in touch with the humanity found in the common worries that many people have in regards to wanting to be loved and feel attractive.

Presenting both a male and a female take on things, the audience may find that the monologues of the opposite gender offer an enlightening perspective. However, many of the scenes contain elements of social anxieties that are shared by everyone.

As a part of Calgary’s Fringe Festival, the production has its home at Artpoint Gallery, a small building that sits on the edge of the the CPR railway tracks. The theatre itself is a small room in the gallery set up with folding chairs, but the small audience size helps give the play a more personable feel.

Just a little more than an hourlong, How Not To Get Laid is a light, fun performance that is worth checking out if you, like most people, have ever experienced problems or mishaps in the dating arena.

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