What can we expect from the show?
Awkwardness, fun, wine, cheese, more awkwardness and hopefully some romantic magic. The show is a bit like any first date really- anything could happen!
Are you expecting dating in New Zealand to differ much from in Australia?
I hope not! I’ve been on dates all over the world and have found them to be largely similar- in that both people are trying hard to make a good impression and appeal to the other person. If it’s going well that is- although French men have a tendency to be very confident!
Would this show have been the same if you had performed it a decade ago, or has dating changed so much in the era of Tinder and social media?
The show probably wouldn’t exist! Online dating is really entrenched in popular culture now- it’s the way most of my friends have met their long-term partners. Though what I think online dating has done in a really scary way is increase our ability to dismiss people very quickly and arbitrarily due to the medium. We’re spoilt for choice and it’s not necessarily a good thing…
Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I met a very handsome Portugese man whose opening line was about how he had irritable bowel syndrome but I met a man in London who was quite possibly on cocaine the entire time. He was a self-proclaimed ‘reiki master’ who chain smoked cigarettes but didn’t drink alcohol because it polluted the body’s energy channels. It got to the point where I was stabbing myself in the leg with my own fingernails every time he opened his mouth, just so I could distract myself from what he was saying and focus on the pain instead- which was infinitely more pleasant. Eventually I thought someone was going to jump out with a video camera and say it was all a joke and that he was an actor trained especially in repelling women. Except that it wasn’t. It was my life.
More of Jonty’s writing can be found on his blog.