I’m going to come clean and admit that when I was trawling through the hundreds and hundreds of shows in the Fringe Program, I requested to review this one because I mistakenly thought it was the James Millar and Peter Rutherford song cycle of the same name.
When I realised my mistake a few days prior to going, I thought I would, in the spirit of Fringe, go along and check it out anyway. Well, you win some and you lose some.
There was nothing inherently wrong with the format, which was a panel discussion and some audience participation, it just wasn’t that funny. And comedy is hard, I get it. Comedians die on stage ALL the time. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. But I just think if you're going to attempt something difficult, try as hard as you can to control everything you are able to, so that the balance swings in your favour! For example, discussing and debating all things love and sex might be better done in a later time slot with a slightly more inebriated crowd.
For starters, the host, Alice Fraser was absent and replaced by Ian Simmons who, on the night, lacked the organisation, charisma and sensitivity required for the role.
The other panel members were three Fringe Artists ring-ins who are interchanged every night. I don’t recall the names of the panel members but they struggled through the discussion, leaving most of the heavy comedic lifting to the tux wearing, ginger haired, gay, Tilda Swinton lookalike (self-declared). There was one interesting character though, a heckler from the audience. She was a rather opinionated young lady, armed with a glass of wine, some girlfriends and Google at the ready. Her interactions bore some of the most rewarding moments of the show, which reinforces the notion that this should be a late night event, not 6.10pm.
Love Bites, with all its flaws, does embrace the spirit of Fringe. It takes a chance with a new show, unusual format and unfamiliar artists, but you can’t just slap a recipe together and call it a show if the ingredients aren’t quite all there.
Serious Comedy presents
Venue: Noodle Palace at Central - Laksa Lounge | 19 Francis Street, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 30 January – 8 February, 2015