Rory O’Keeffe: The 37th Question
Edinburgh Fringe veteran Rory O’Keeffe’s comedy The 37th Question is an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure-style show based on a 2015 New York Times article that presented questions scientifically proven to get dating couples falling in love after creating a connection and shared intimacy. The comic takes inspiration from his day job designing apps for fans of X Factor and Love Island.
The performance centres around a content young couple, literary agent Zoe and scientist Stuart, who have been together for four years. As we proceed through a series of questions – listening to their conversation over speakers – Zoe awaits the 37th question, a proposal. Alongside this life-changing decision, she becomes increasingly suspicious of Stuart, paranoid that he is not attending his Spanish classes. O’Keeffe is a very calm and confident games master, narrating the story with ease, allowing spectators to choose the outfit characters wear and even the type of argument the couple will have in order to find out more about them. Audiences make the decision democratically, their host counting up the votes, making Brexit jokes along the way. When the comedian asks a woman in the audience what Zoe should be wearing to a post-dinner party, she excitedly shouts “a Uniqlo heat-insulated top”, amusingly specific; following a brief technical adjustment that occurs later in the show, the Irish performer jokes by taking a moment to thank Uniqlo, the pretend sponsor, demonstrating his ability to think quickly on his feet and proving that he is a natural comedian on stage.
O’Keeffe has cleverly developed a concept in which audiences never really know if their choices will lead to happy or miserable conclusions for Zoe and Stuart, making for a show that’s at once sharp, intriguing and entertaining.
Photo: Arsalan Sattari
The 37th Question was at the Studio on 2nd February 2019.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.