After introducing herself and going over some housekeeping rules, Henry immediately jumps into the romcom. The books she’s trying to carry fall from her arms and she takes her time waiting for one of us to come help her, my friend bravely decides to help and suddenly finds himself locking eyes with “Aotearoa’s Flirtiest Babe”. I love the simplicity of this gag as a way to open the show, despite the fact that many of us weren’t sure (or were too scared) to help her get the books, she made it clear that this is her show, and one of us better come help.
Where the show falls slightly short for me is the pacing. Henry is very quick and that works in her favour for most of the set, but I find myself craving more time to pause to really think about and enjoy the joke. I know it’s part of her ‘will-you-take-a-breath’ style which serves some parts of the show, but it felt as though we lost some really good punchlines because we were still trying to catch our breath from the last one. The content is already there and already killer, we just need an extra moment to really savour it.
Moments where she’s being herself and chatting to the audience really shine for me. I’m lucky enough to be there on the same night as her parents as she strolls down lover’s memory lane. Henry has had a litany of bizarre dating experiences, you really don’t want to miss them. Some (ambiguous) highlights include an embarrassing dad story, a māori dating show gone wrong, and her eventual queer awakening - that make the stories about men she dated even funnier.
Crush Season will have you leaving with a big - crush on Henry. She’s charming, quick, and never one to shy away from the gory details. Plus, when’s the last time you went to a show with a snack table? With some extra development, I think she’d be getting at least a few proposals after each run. This show is a celebration of the lovers, wuvers, and the absurd world that is dating in the 21st century.
Crush Season is on the Stage at BATS until Saturday 13th of May.