The Dating Game

Losing at the Dating Game. Again.

Reviewed by Mary Alderson

Ironically, two happily married acting couples star in the dating game – Sarah Quick and James Barrett, Artistic Director and Artistic Producer at Globus Theatre, and well-known to the audiences as the pair that do everything. With them on stage are comedy power couple Lisa Horner and Matthew Olver. The four are currently together on stage in The Dating Game at the Globus Theatre near Bobcaygeon.

Richard and Julia have just gone through a divorce. Somehow, they have remained friends, and they are encouraging each other to get out and meet new people. They cross paths frequently, whether in the park or at a restaurant, checking to make sure each other’s dates are going well.

They are set up in a series of blind dates, but there doesn’t appear to be much success. Julie meets a guy in the park who is picking up garbage doing community service work for some kind of run-in with the law. Richard has a date with a co-worker; the restaurant meal consists of a salad, and she advises him on all the good food in the salad which will help his libido. Then Julia dates a fellow that is more interested in visiting his mother’s grave, and another with appalling table manners. For both our heroes, there is a sad line-up of possibilities.

You get the idea. There isn’t a decent person out there that you might want to spend the rest of your life with. It’s slim pickin’s.

Matthew Olver is excellent as Richard who zooms around on a fast scooter. He is convincing as he dates reluctantly, not expecting to find results. Sarah Quick is brilliant as Julia, who really would like to meet someone special. Quick plays the tough love role, but at the same time, letting us know that she still cares about Richard.

James Barrett is perfect in all his roles as totally inappropriate suitors. Lisa Horner is a delight bringing to life the various characters that make Richard’s life miserable.

It is these four actors who make this show. All four have perfect comedic timing and they know how to  get laughs from the audience. They are comedy professionals.

Lisa Horner is going to be reprising her role as Beaulah in Come From Away in Toronto this fall, and is also known for the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz and the crazy Stage Manager in Milan in Kinky Boots, both at Mirvish theatres. But the role everyone wants her to talk about is the “Start the Car” woman in the Ikea commercials. Matthew Olver is known for his many comedic roles in theatre across the province. He is a favourite in Norm Foster’s plays. They make an excellent pairing with the ever-popular Barrett and Quick.

Peter Quilter is a favourite British playwright. Listening to the script, you can hear those British terms such as “steak and chips”, or when things are available “on offer”. He is known for the musical drama End of the Rainbow about Judy Garland’s later life, which went on to be the hit movie Judy with Renee Zellweger. He also had a worldwide hit comedy play, Glorious!, the story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the lady who arranged her own concerts but had the worst singing voice ever.

As Globus tells us on their website, Quiler’s The Dating Game looks at the hilariously mad world of dating and how choosing new lovers can be like selecting deckchairs on the Titanic. It runs a few more days at the Globus; well worth the trip to Bobcaygeon.

In keeping with their usual fare, dinner at the Globus was excellent. I enjoyed pea soup with pancetta, followed by a main course of chicken breast cooked in French onion soup with lots of cheese, peas, and roasted potatoes, and for dessert, warm blueberry crumble with ice cream.

The Dating Game continues at the Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn near Bobcaygeon, until June 8. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 705-738-2037 or 1-800-304-7897 or visit

Photo: Matthew Olver, Lisa Horner, James Barrett, and Sarah Quick in The Dating Game.

 The Dating Game
By Peter Quilter
Directed by Sarah Quick
Performed by Sarah Quick, Matthew Olver, James Barrett and Lisa Horner.
Globus Theatre, at the Lakeview Arts Barn, south of Bobcaygeon
May 29 to June 8, 2024
Reviewed by Mary Alderson


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