Interactive Theatre Meets Speed Dating in Binaural Dinner Date

The Binaural Dinner Date, Theatre Royal Stratford East ★★★★☆

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Interactive Theatre Meets Speed Dating in Binaural Dinner Date The Binaural Dinner Date, Theatre Royal Stratford East 4
Photo: Ludovic Des Cognets

What would it take for you to fall in love with a total stranger within an hour? Billed as an experience unlike any other, Binaural Dinner Date is as interactive as it is effective. A mash up between immersive theatre and speed dating, the show uses earphones and a diverse array of participatory games to measure and establish compatibility between new and existing couples. Because let's be honest, meeting the right partner and falling in love these days still requires a modicum of romance and open-mindedness, which is lost in the endless swiping right of online dating apps. Well developed and flawlessly executed, all the ingredients are there to create the maximum romantic effect.

Photo: Ludovic Des Cognets

The set is a simple cafe littered with other couples seated at red-dressed tables and waited upon by a garçon who looks as if he's missing from a page of a Victor Hugo novel. Once everyone's earphones are in and the complimentary beverage has been served, the show begins to the tune of classical music, and a woman's voice instructs each audience member to repeat phrases, answer each other's deep philosophical questions and even hold hands whilst staring into the eyes of the lucky person across from you.

The premise of Binaural Dinner Date is truly fantastic, as it acknowledges and seemingly wants to save us from the plight of any more nightmare-inducing first dates. It also raises the question that perhaps the missing ingredient for finding real love may not really be about the perfect partner but rather what you see in them.  For the sceptics at heart, the interactive games are fun and will have you relaxed and smiling (if not chuckling) while helping you leave your inhibitions and judgements behind. Come alone or as part of an existing couple to experience a deeper connection; each time the experience will be completely different depending on who you sit with.

Photo: Ludovic Des Cognets

By the end of our hour sitting across from a total stranger, we realise that, intentionally or not, Binaural Dinner Date rises even above the short term goal of deepening a connection between two people; it actually challenges you to be human again and try to see someone else for who they truly are. While the show may not be long enough for most to fall madly in love, it will definitely have you seeing whoever is across from you in the most positive light, and that is heartwarming.

The Binaural Dinner Date, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15 1BN. Until Sunday 3 December 2017.

Last Updated 01 December 2017