Make a date with a new production at the Maltings Arts Theatre – particularly if you are a millennial!

The Dating Diary, written by Melissa Jessica Amer and Scott Henderson of Outta Nowhere Productions, looks at life through the eyes of millenials.

But this baby boomer thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to see a refreshingly different play on the local stage.

The duo, who also appear in the play, wrote the comedy during lockdown and based it on real-life experiences of what they describe as ‘millenial dating life, social pressures and the quest for happiness.’

Directed by Alex Bell, what is most impressive about it is how well the dialogue flows right from the outset and in that respect it never lets up.

There were a few occasions when some of the actors gabbled a bit and their diction got lost but that is easily remedied and did not spoil the audience enjoyment.

That was not a problem with Taylor Pope who took the role of the insufferable Kyle Payne, described as a caricature of toxic masculinity. And boy was he – loud-mouthed, self-obsessed and ultimately pathetic.

Taylor gave his all to the role and dominated the stage every time he appeared. His role was guaranteed to have such an impact but that is no reflection on the other characters who told the story beautifully.

Scriptwriter Melissa took the role of Amelia, in despair at ever finding the right man particularly after a hilarious date with Kyle.


But the right man is clearly well within her sights and the other real high spot of the production was when Amelia sang and danced with Ryan Dorney’s Ronnie Smith to the Backstreet Boys hit I Want It That Way.

It was an inspired addition to the production, particularly the way it ended when the inhibitions that had been lost came back with a vengeance.

Shanika Occan as Amelia’s flatmate and best friend Laura demonstrated Tik Tok addiction totally believably and when she and Scott Henderson’s Richard ‘Crush’ Smith are revealed as an item, everything falls into place.

The Dating Diary is a fun and ingenious piece of theatre – even the door on and off the stage joined in the entertainment – and further performances can be seen at the Maltings Arts Theatre on October 20 and 21.