You’re A Catch! Why Are You Single? {Melbourne Fringe} – Theatre Review

From performer and writer Sarah Wynen, whose production credits include Stranger Things The Musical, Blue to the Horizon and a performance run with the Melbourne Shakespeare Company, You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? Is a one-shot musical comedy about the struggles of dating in the 21st century.

Written and produced by Wynen, and co-directed by Wynen and Simon McWilliam, You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? originally debuted in January at the Motley Bauhaus and features 11 original songs performed with a piano accompaniment, some with simple yet delightful choreography by McWilliam, and starring Bek Schilling, Marcus Doherty, Courtney Holt, Emily Jacker-Lawrence, Alexis Longley, Blake Peiper, and Brenton Shaw. You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? begins with the snappy song and dance number ‘Tricky’ that introduces audiences to Becky (Schilling), her distaste of Christmas and its onslaught of questions about her dating life from well-meaning family members, before opening into the first of many vignettes about the trials and tribulations of modern dating.

Across the course of its hour run, You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? covers a whole host of topics through hilarious, relatable, and sometimes heartbreaking skits including YouTube tutorials on how to attract women (horribly), having fulfilling relationships with pets, the struggles of queer dating, dealing with loss, and feelings of worthlessness. Wynen’s writing is incredibly sharp and witty; expertly brought to life by the cast. At no point does the dialogue feel stale, forced or cliché. The majority of the scenarios Wynen concocted are goofy and light-hearted, but the heavier moments give the show a great sense of balance. Combining each of the core monologues with a complimentary song ensures that You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? is a smooth flowing rollercoaster of emotions from beginning to end.

Utilising a simple set design, the stage is blocked using large soft Tetris-shapes, allowing the cast to change the layout of the stage in an instant. Wynen’s production is story driven, so the simplicity of the set works perfectly to allow those stories and the cast’s talents to really shine.

The broad spectrum of scenarios and experiences covered throughout the show span from the ridiculous to the all-too-real. Cast member Courtney Holt, with an assist from Blake Peiper, gives an incredible monologue on the dangers of being a woman on dating apps that hits very close to home for any female-presenting audience member. Holt also gives us a spin as a yurt-loving nerd on a blind date gone awry in the aptly named number ‘Yurt Life’, showing her impressive range as both an actress and a vocalist.

The whole cast of You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? get ample time to show off their skills, taking on multiple personas throughout the show via quick costume changes, skits, and musical numbers. Standout vocal performances include the side-splittingly hilarious ‘I Hid in the Cupboard’ and ‘The Good Guy’ sung by Emily Jacker-Lawrence and Peiper respectively, the latter of which is a perfectly constructed ribbing of ‘nice guys’ with big dick egos complete with a jaunty tap routine and brightly coloured strap-ons. The extremely heart-breaking ‘What I’d Give’ performed by Marcus Doherty explores the pain of loving and losing a child. Each song, even the painful ones, are equally as entertaining as the last and speak volumes of Wynen’s amazing songwriting talents.

A true sign of a great show, You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? hour run time sadly flies by. With its veritable circus of characters and snappy tunes, You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? will leave audiences in stitches, in tears, and wishing it didn’t have to end.

You’re a Catch! Why Are You Single? played at the 2022 Melbourne Fringe from the 4th to the 8th of October. Unfortunately, the season is over, however, hopefully we get to see this show again soon.

For more information and possible future ticketing, visit:
https://www.sarahwynen.com/youre-a-catch-why-are-you-single
https://melbournefringe.com.au/event/youre-a-catch-why-are-you-single

Photography by Shae Khreish.

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