“Mission to Mate” is written and directed by Colin Mitchell, the mad genius behind the live theatre review site Bitter Lemons.
What can I say, I laughed, I cried, it made me a better person. Well, okay two out of three.
In a trio of tightly crafted, loosely linked scenes, Mitchell blithely takes us tap-dancing across that heavily mined no-man’s land, dividing any successful coupling of the two sexes. In each trisection, he uses his pairing of characters to illuminate how great the distance between men and women is, and how that distance is ever expanding.
The first couple finds themselves separated by tragedy and innocence; the second by language and AT&T long distance; the third couple by the pitfalls of past and future.
Bizarre and whimsical characters race by you like old Burma Shave signs along Route 66: a rape victim, a creatively obsessed cello-playing Russian sensualist, a writer with writer’s block and a lapsed deadline, the savior of humanity and a time travelling cook. Michael Sanchez and the dynamic Alla Poberesky as Temple-Thomas-William and Seville-Danielle-Sarah respectively, bound about the stage and each other like two super balls trapped in a malt blender.
Mitchell fuses the scenes with stylized set changes that are lovely to watch and spares the audience from a terminal case of B.O.S. (Blackout-Overload-Syndrome).
It is an immensely fun and delightfully theatrical evening of “art irritating life” that simply wishes to tell us the unvarnished truth – that all relationships are a leap of faith.