5 actors, 5 writers, 1 director, 1 intimate setting. HeartDotCom intrigued me as soon as I received the press release in my inbox; Agentle search of why we look for love in cyberspace. Being fascinated by psychology, sociology and anything and everything that makes us tick, online dating has always intrigued me, not only because it’s so popular but also because I’ve heard first hand umpteen stories both positive and negative of risqué rendezvous, haphazard hookups and drab dates.
HeartDotComis a collaborative work between writers and actors that appears to be in conjunction with SUDS at the University of Sydney and showcases the lives of several people in society who are ‘testing out’ this online dating world. We are given a snapshot of their individual online dating application process as they present what seems to be a video intro upload, which is somewhat confusing in its self as I haven’t come across video introductions in the online dating space before…
What didn’t hit the mark for me in the writing of these monologues was the ‘why. That genuine search, wonder and curiosity behind why people go online looking for love. It was as if the writers scratched the surface, gave us a bit of humour, a bit of shock and a bit of angst, but not much depth, each piece was a tad 2-dimensional.
This collaborative work focuses on different characters who deliver short, monologues, there’s a locksmith, a young man who’s lost his love, a traffic sign worker, ‘Barb’ who tells us that it’s ‘Stop and Slow not Stop and GO, like most people think.’ There’s ‘Georgina’ the young woman who reminisces of her days in London and an attractive bearded man who works at the Botanical Gardens. These 5 actors deliver well with special mention to Paul, yes, just Paul, no surname mentioned in the program who appeared briefly but showed the most depth of character.
Director Liv Satchell has been the mastermind behind making this happen and I love seeing new Australian work and writing performed, this work just needed some further work-shopping to really drive home the message and leave us with something that would move us and make us think more about the weird, wacky and wonderful world of cyberspace.