Hilarity ensues when Jeremy Webb and Stacy Smith take the stage for Fishing, a comedy about online dating. (Submitted photo)
In the world of Internet dating, there's plenty of fish available.
With that premise in mind, Jeremy Webb, the mastermind behind the popular stage show Fishing and founder of Off the Leash — an arts collective, set out to craft a play to leave the audience in stitches.
Webb said the idea came to him several years ago while he was single. Due to the popularity of dating websites, he thought he'd cast a line and see who nibbled.
“In the last 10 years, it's become so popular. So I gave it a go, nothing really came of it, but I did think, oh my goodness, there's a lot of material in this subject for a play,” said Webb in an interview.
About a year passed before he penned what would become Fishing, a tale about Paul Fisher, a divorcee looking for love.
“He gets online and books seven dates in seven days with seven different women,” said Webb. “As you could imagine, it's kind of chaotic and he kind of makes a mess of it, but in the process he learns a lot about his own foibles and character flaws — because he is a bit of a jerk.”
To which, Webb jokingly says, “it's only lightly based on me.”
To fully develop his character, Webb signed back up for online dating and did exactly what the character did: book seven dates in seven days. Hilarity, and chaos, ensued, Webb said.
The play, which is set to take the stage at the Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre in Windsor on April 17 at 7 p.m., features Webb as the lead man, and Stacy Smith, playing all of the female roles.
The show first premiered in May 2012 as part of the SuperNova Theatre Festival in Halifax. It's since received rave reviews.
“It's a comedy; it's fun, it gets crazy,” said Webb.
The thespian says the show is intended for more mature audiences, but, aside from a few curse words, would be family-friendly.
“It's really aimed at anyone that's been in a relationship, failed at a relationship. This guy is a divorcee, he's got failed relationships behind him, he can't seem to make it work for himself now, and then he meets these seven women.”
Reflecting upon his own online dating experience, Webb says it turned out more than OK. Not only did he gather enough material to write a crowd-pleasing comedy, he wound up meeting his partner, Melissa — just as he was about to delete his account.
“(The website) suggested that we meet, so I thought, oh well, I'll just send one more message, you know, just out of curiosity, and we met a week or so later for coffee and here we are, four years later with a two year old baby.”
To find out more about the show or upcoming Off the Leash productions, visit: www.offtheleash.ca.
If you're going
When: May 17 at 7 p.m.
Where: Mermaid Theatre (106 Gerrish St., Windsor)
What: Fishing, a comedy about online dating
Cost: $22 for adults, $20 for students