The way we first learn about love is often through films and fairy tales. The moment two pairs of eyes meet across a crowded room and we fall deeply in love is ingrained in us. We want to be swept off our feet and walk hand in hand into our happily ever after. Well, although I Would Like To Get To Know You isn’t that kind of love story, this tale of love, lust and loss is still nothing short of magical.
A showcase of real-life dating stories, I Would Like To Get To Know You navigates through the dating minefield, asking how, where and why we are searching for love today.
Structured across six parts, covering everything from dating apps to finding your perfect Nutella jar in amongst rows of nothing but jam, I Would Like To Get To Know You may appear clinical at first. However, each part of the show is connected through a set of interviews, in which the interviewees talk honestly and openly about their experiences with first loves, relationships and breakups. Illustrated through a set of original songs and short films, the show touches on the finer points of what makes another person attractive to us.
Enveloped in words of deep joy and hurt, the performers become secondary. In some scenes Katherine Vince and George Cheetham seem like animated mannequins, performing every movement with purpose and accuracy. You slowly notice, however, that they are an essential part of the creative process. Vince and Cheetham’s performances are in complete harmony with each other. Through some magic they give every word spoken the poignancy it needs to hit home, while also making the whole audience give out a collective belly laugh when pondering why we can’t all be the Obamas. Cheetham’s passionate guitar performances and Vince’s sultry tones guide the audience through our roller coaster of a love life. Vince’s performance as a personal assistant for your dating life in particular highlights the humour you can overlook when in the midst of one of the tumultuous stages of love and attraction.
Under director Claire Stone, Devised theatre company Feral Foxy Ladies and filmmaking team Kaleido Film Collective collaborate on a performance which does not edit love. The audience gets a glimpse into other people’s lives, at how different and yet the same we all are when it comes to our own emotions and sexual desires. It is a piece of its time, and yet so universal that it will speak to generations to come.
Above all, I Would Like To Get To Know You leaves space for the audience to laugh. Because when looking back, isn’t it important to not always take this whole ‘love’ thing so seriously?
I Would Like To Get To Know You is playing as part of the VAULT Festival until 10 February. For more information and tickets, see the VAULT Festval website.