Ask Auntie Trash: Advice from a Theatre Critic

Ask Auntie Trash: What plays will get you a date? How do you act 'in the know' about theatre? Our resident agony aunt is here to answer all your theatrical questions

Feature by Amy Taylor | 10 Feb 2016
  • Life Advice from a Cynical Theatre Critic

Hi Auntie Trash,

I’m taking a girl to the theatre for Valentine’s Day. I know nothing about theatre, but I’ve told her that I do. How do I fool her into thinking I know more than I do AND get laid after the curtain goes down?

Ta,
Need a hand

Hi Need a hand,

You’ve found yourself in a conundrum that no doubt many people have; you tell someone a white lie to impress them, and before you know it you’re balls deep in the auditorium, shifting excruciatingly as you watch Shakespeare, or Miller, or some God awful devised piece by a friend of a friend of a friend. To which, I say: nae joy, pal. 

But before I begin discussing the fine art of theatre, I’ve got to say something. I’m only going to say it once, so here it is: this girl doesn’t owe you shit. Now read that again. Read it again. And again. And again. And again, until it sticks in there.

When you take someone out to the theatre, they don’t have to perform for you once the house lights go back up. You aren’t entitled to get your dick wet just because you shelled out for a couple of theatre tickets. You are entitled to nothing more than the pleasure of her company for the evening. Afterwards, if she wants, she might top you off, or whatever, but only if she wants to.

(Continues below)


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OK, now that bit of housekeeping is out of the way, we can get to the really filthy stuff: the art of choosing the right show to take a date to. 

So, when it comes to theatre; what’s good? I admit that I’m pretty fucking biased because I review theatre for a (sort-of) living, but there’s a lot of good stuff out there. You have to be aware of a few things. 

When taking a date to theatre, especially if said date is much more into theatre than you, I would avoid any show with the following words on the poster, in the synopsis, or in any reviews.

‘Experimental’

‘Interpretive’

‘Post-modernism, post-apocalyptic’ —  just avoid anything with fucking 'post hyphen' in it.

‘Suffering’

Now, I have decided to share this, because, these are the things that can make or break a date. Imagine going to a show and not getting it, and your date gets it. I mean, she totally gets it. She talks about it during the interval, she talks about it in the bar afterwards, and you have nothing to say. You can’t add anything to this conversation without revealing what you truly are: a liar balls deep in his own untruths. 

On the flip side of this, you may be tempted to take your sweet lady to a traditional musical, and again, I must caution you against this. Yes, there was that really great episode of South Park which discussed the little-known and seldom-acknowledged correlation between musicals and fellatio, but this is totally not true, mate. I’m sorry to break your heart.  

I’m not saying don’t go to a musical, I’m laying out the facts for you, because knowledge is power, and Lord knows we need more people out there who know a little something about theatre. 

So, in conclusion: if you take someone to the theatre, do some research about the show, ask them lots of questions, be interesting, buy a couple of ice creams at the interval, and don’t demand anything in return. Deal?