Lesbian Speed Date From Hell! ran to sold out houses before being invited to respected Festivals, OFF-JFL and Montréal Pride. The play is a unique piece that evolved out of a need to see more female, gay and persons of colour represented in the arts and to provide a platform for horror-comedy, an under-represented genre of theatre.
Don’t let the title fool you, behind the camp is distinct social commentary. From co-writer Christina Saliba: “Although the show is a parody on the absurdity of stereotypes pertaining to the queer community and the general horrors of online dating, it also highlights how disconnected we are from honesty. The cyberspace we now live in is creating monsters that have no regard for responsibility, human dignity and self-respect. Because I’m a lover of all things horror and comedy, this message is conveyed in the most outrageous way possible!”
Writer/producer Christina Saliba is thrilled to be invited to OFF-JFL and Montréal Pride Festival with her hit horror-comedy, Lesbian Speed Date From Hell! The show is back again after its sold out run at horror theatre festival, Festival De La Bête Noire, in this remounted, revamped version; more terror, more gore, and more terrible lesbian puns! The play is a unique piece that evolved out of a need to see more female, gay and persons of colour represented in the arts and to provide a platform for an under-represented genre of theatre. This frightening joy ride is written by emerging, queer talent Christina Saliba, Lorna Kidjo and Adam Kolodny, and directed by tour-de-force Mariah Inger. Lesbian Speed Date From Hell! will be featured at OFF-JFL on July 19 & and 20at Mainline Theatreand at the Montréal Pride Festival on August 10, 11, 15 and16 atLe Ministère. Some subject matter may be disturbing (blood, mild violence)—ages 16+ is recommended.
Lesbian Speed Date From Hell! is a campy horror-comedy romp. Although it delves into the absurd and extreme, its vivid underlying message speaks to the negative impacts of ghosting (ending a relationship by ceasing all communication) and a lack of social responsibility acutely present in today’s online dating realm. When Jackie is overcome with nesting syndrome and the lesbian urge to merge, she gives lesbian speed dating a shot. The evening takes an unexpected turn when she runs into her former online conquest, Ashley, who has a little more than closure on her mind. What follows is a mix of gore and hilarity, because what is horror without a few laughs?
With a background in film production, Saliba, Kidjo, and Kolodny took inspiration from classic horror-comedies like Serial Mom, directed by the legendary John Waters, and The Burbs. “Horror-comedy is a niche genre more commonly seen on screen and we are beyond excited to be bringing something new and out-of-the-ordinary to theatre-going audiences,” says Kidjo. The deeper meaning behind this frightening and hilarious show is something we can all relate to, as Saliba describes: “Although it’s a parody on the absurdity of stereotypes pertaining to the queer community and the horrors of online dating, there is a distinct commentary about how disconnected we are from honesty and confrontation; how the impersonal cyberspace we now live in is creating monsters that have no regard for human dignity and self-respect. Because I’m a lover of all things horror and comedy, this message is conveyed in the most outrageous and ridiculous way possible!”
Horror-comedy has the privilege of tackling taboo and controversial subject matter; providing social commentary in a playful, outlandish way. It is an approach that pushes artists and audiences out of their comfort zones, and truly connects with something raw and primeval. Lesbian Speed Date From Hell!does that perfectly with its juxtaposing of extreme emotions, physicality and visuals.
The majority of the cast and crew belong to the queer community, encompassing a range of beautiful and colourful backgrounds. “Connection within marginalized communities is important, but authentic representation is critical,” Saliba insists. “The talent and electric chemistry that Kate Hammer and Katharine King So bring to the table as the tumultuous Ashley and the aloof Jackie are palpable,” says director Inger about the cast. Hammer has recently graced the cover of Cult MTL and is a prominent figure in the comedy world; with INFEMOUS, her monthly comedy show that puts femme and non-binary people at the forefront. King So has appeared on NBC’s The Bold Type and her digital comedy series, The Walk-In Closet, was recently picked up by REVRY, also known as the ‘Gay Netflix’. Rounding out the cast is the hilarious and talented Kathy Slamen, Martha Graham, Alexandra Lafferrière and Adrian MacDonald.
Lesbian Speed Date From Hell! showcases how strength lies in embracing diversity and in breaking down traditional theatre frameworks. Audiences will be left clutching their sides from laughing too hard while also being reminded that this digital age is no excuse for bad behaviour, and that small gestures can have a powerful impact on people’s lives. Hopefully before anyone is bound, gagged and tortured…
Lesbian Speed Date From Hell!
OFF-JFL: Friday, July 19,7:30 pm and Saturday, July 20,7:30 pm at MainLine Theatre, 3997 Blvd. Saint-Laurent
Montréal Pride Festival: Sat., August 10, 8pm; Sun., August 11, 7pm; Thurs., August 15, 8pm; Fri.,August 16, 8pm at Le Ministère, 4521 Blvd. Saint-Laurent
Tickets: $20.00, $15.00 (students/seniors) Box office
Photos by Argaive Photo.