Review by Taylor Kendal
It is safe to say that the dating game has changed quite dramatically over the years. It seems as though more people are ditching the old fashioned ways of meeting people face to face, for simpler means. Yes, we are in the age of dating apps, unsolicited pics and ‘You up?’ messages and of course, Tinder.
From the mind of Chloe Perrett, comes SWEETie, a total sugar rush of one woman hilarity about a young woman and her foray into the world of boys, often disastrous Tinder sexcapades, and giving in to the desire of shedding that ‘girl next door’ persona.
SWEETie makes a rather dramatic entrance for herself, enticing the audience with a rendition of Mandy Moore’s Candy that is quite reminiscent of a teen singing into her hairbrush while watching Video Hits. She shares with her audience about how she had always been seen as ‘the sweet girl next door’, which tends to get old as you grow up. Through expressive recounts of her highs and lows in the dating world, we learn quite a deal about this small yet fiery personality – perhaps a little more than some were expecting. From elevator make out sessions, to pulling your back in the backseat of a baby Barina before ending a five year relationship with your first love, and being swept up in what can only be rather aptly described as a Tinder Bender, deciding in her own words, the best way to get over someone…is to get under someone.
Perrett is blessed with such incredible comedic prowess, commanding the stage in every way with such a skill for storytelling and keeping the audience completely enthralled, while keeping the air light and breezy. Rather than following stereotypical stand up or monologue conventions, SWEETie takes the audience on a rather hands on approach, providing vivid interpretive scenes and recollections of dates gone bad, oversharing the cringey, squirmy fails of the dating world online, and some incredible bouts of audience participation that I had yet to witness before this night. This was then all matched up with some incredibly perfect musical numbers, ranging from renditions of Britney Spears, Fergie, Justin Timberlake, and Lily Allen.
As the audience is taken along on such a bumpy journey, it is hard not to both sympathise and empathise with her tales, sharing the highs and the lows with SWEETie. There were several points, however, where audience members were howling with laughter so hard, I was almost convinced that Perrett would stop the show just to make sure they were okay. Perrett has a natural skill to tell things like they are, as though she were dishing dirt with an old friend rather than a room of theatre goers, indulging in a conversation that’s a little bit dirty, slightly suggestive, but honest and all the while keeping things from going too vulgar or crass. I lost count of how many times members of the audience, myself included, were nodding along to anecdotes and finding them so identifiable in real life. Everything that she conveys, is completely and utterly real.
But for all the sex jokes, the tales of horrible partners and fails in the bedroom, much like any delicious candy, there is a sweetness at the centre. At the core of his mad, whirlwind of a performance, there is a message that I truly believe that everyone needs to be reminded of, not just women; how important it is embrace your inner SWEETie and remember that you are truly the biggest love of your life, and to take care of you and your needs and happiness, and that it’s not a bad thing in this day and age, to shelve your sweet side every now and then. Such a beautiful sentiment, wrapped up in a delicious casing of humor, anecdotal hilarity and a whole lot of heart, SWEETie is a hyperactive and rather empowering rollercoaster that is not to be missed by anyone.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.