Dave Warneke Dates The Entire Audience
7:15pm, Mon 9 Mar 2015
After inadvertently meeting Dave Warneke at a Festival Fishbowl, I’ve been squeezing in his Facty Fact show whenever I can (in 2013 and 2014, anyway). And whilst I’m no longer in the dating market (sorry all!), the opportunity to be in an audience that Dave wanted to date – on my birthday, no less – was too good to miss.
The premise of the show is that Warneke wants to take the audience – the entire audience, as a holistic entity – out on a date. A hackneyed dinner-and-a-movie date, yes, but he’s anxious for it to go as well as possible. As seems to be Warneke’s wont, there’s a heavy leaning on technology in the performance… not only in the requisite PowerPoint presentation, but also in the web-based voting mechanism. Yes, the audience was actually encouraged to use their phones during the show to vote for different date proposals; this was a clever mechanism, allowing people to engage and vote freely without fear of public reprisals.
The first vote was to select a name for the audience as a group, and whilst I was proud to see my suggestion of “Trevor” get shortlisted, it was eventually out-polled by “Dumbledore’s Army”. Thus, Dave took Dumbledore’s Army out on a date to (vote) see Titanic, followed by dinner at (vote) Thai Tanic (reviews of which were fantastically awful). Eventually, it was declared that (vote) Dumbledore’s Army did, indeed, enjoy the date with Warneke, and he wished us well and hoped we could go on another date sometime.
Sam Petersen was constantly in the background, needling Warneke from behind his laptop as he collated the results of audience votes. His input frequently slid into complaints about technology, but his cutting analysis of the voting tendencies was hilarious. There’s also a few other asides: a brilliant game of Is It Porn? and an incredibly lo-fi backyard remake of Titanic were the highlights.
Dave Warneke Dates The Entire Audience wound up being a thoroughly satisfying show. Whilst it’s not a gut-busting laugh-a-minute type of production, the implicit social commentary exposed by the audience participation gave it a little more lasting impact than I’d expected… and the act of voting itself generates immediate audience buy-in. The fact that Warneke’s charming nerdishness plays well with Petersen’s more acid tongue is just icing on the cake.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 9, 2015