Review by Carly Fisher
Adorned with a veil and a bouquet of flowers, we meet our protagonist Zoë in the midst of her explanation of just how wonderful Tinder really can be based on her recent success in meeting the love of her life on the app, an Italian stallion no less. For the next hour we embark on an adventure through Zoë’s app based dating trials and triumphs…if that isn’t too generous a term.
In the titular role, Zoë Frendin is charismatic and has a sharp sense of comedic timing. Her commitment to story is prevalent and her ability to think quickly to land an improvised joke (for example, with rose petals) is impressive and exciting to watch.
Zoë’s real skill lies in her charm - she is endearing to watch and instantly likeable. Love or hate the show, it is impossible not to want the best for her and to see her succeed.
The story is well paced and broken cleverly into themes that track Zoë’s journey to find love. At times surprising, the story takes some great turns and offers some jokes that attract a generous squeal from the audience - no spoilers here but tiger balm comes to mind.
The small venue at two/fiftyseven is decent in its stage space but limited in its technology. As such, the lighting through the show is used to minimal effect. The set, though minimal in its intent, still seems somewhat unnecessary with two extra stools placed to either side of the stage. For a quick show, there are significant number of props that could perhaps be refined to aid faster transitions between the scenes. Particularly, the included paper props to emphasise things already being said could be removed without impact on the show. Zoë’s personality is more than enough to fill the stage without the excess.
By and large the direction by Jandyra Maciel is solid and well executed. For me, less running backwards and forwards would have been preferred as it started to feel a little naf but with this aside, Maciel and Frendin clearly have a good working relationship that has allowed for a comfortability to soak through the piece and into the audience.
There are some small improvements to be made that would only need to be considered should the show want to find home on a bigger stage. As it is, is a well paced, well executed, simple but funny fringe show that I feel would do well in festivals across NZ and Australia.
Hi, I’m Zoë is a great forty-five minute piece that will absolutely have you chuckling at the familiarity of much of what Zoë has been through and hopeful for her that from here, her love life is looking up.
The story is not one that you haven’t heard before but it doesn’t matter - This is Zoë’s time to take centre stage and she does it well.