Lesbian Speed Date from Hell is a true horror comedy. Following a successful run at the Mainline Theatre as part of Off- JFL/Zoofest, it’s back as part of Montreal Pride’s official programming. Presented by Pride along with Christina Saliba, the show is funny and scary, and for abuse survivors, it can be triggering.

The play revolves around Jackie (Katharine King So), a young lesbian who is grudgingly attending a speed dating event hosted by her friend and neighbor Regina (Kathy Slamen). Regina is your typical lesbian cougar. In case you had any doubts, Slamen’s costumes consist of mostly of leopard print, and her portrayal is a hilarious mix of sassy, maternal, and raunchy.

At the event, Jackie meets Amy (Martha Graham), an awkward blonde, Natalie (Alexandra Laferriere), a beautiful black lesbian jonesing for Regina, Kyle (Jeroem Lindeman), a stereotypical dudebro and Ashley (Kate Hammer), a former one-night stand of Jackie’s with a big grudge.

What follows is a display of awkward conversations, hilarious facial expressions, and uncomfortable torture scenes.

Hammer’s portrayal of Ashley is at once horrific and riveting. All the time she’s on stage you never doubt her anger, her malice, or her psychosis. Her madness is believable yet just over the top enough to keep the play from being too real.

King So’s Jackie is a perfect foil for Ashley’s crazy. Her screams are bone-chillingly realistic and her fear and outrage appropriate.

Survivors of abuse will likely find the interaction between Jackie and Ashley uncomfortably triggering as there is blood and violence and accurate portrayals of pain. But there is enough humour in the play to balance it out.

The fight choreography is hilariously done in slow motion and with more courtesy than one would expect in a struggle between a psychotic murderer and a desperate victim. There are murder mystery clichés like the strategic use of on and off lighting, and Jeroen Lindeman’s Kyle is amusingly obnoxious and a reminder of why our culture needs more feminist entertainment like this.

That said, if you’re an abuse survivor go in prepared to be a little uncomfortable and reassure yourself that with the horror comes plenty to laugh about. For everyone else, be prepared to laugh, cry, and gasp in horror.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a show, but it’s worth it.

Lesbian Speed Date From Hell runs until August 16, tickets available through Montreal Pride

Let’s face it, dating ain’t easy. Whether you’re newly separated or a veteran on the scene, you’re always looking for dating tips and advice. Here are 8 tips that should help you get on the right track when on the hunt for that special someone.

1. Get things in order

Developing a serious relationship is about two lives working together like a well oiled machine. Make sure you have important aspects of your life together, like your career, living situation and relationships with friends and family.

2. Know what you want

Being clear with yourself about what you want will save you time and spare your or someone else’s feelings in the long run. A simple way toget started is to create a list of non-negotiables and work on understanding your needs before you put yourself on the market. Bonus: People like people who know what they want.

Know what you want

3. Get real

Be honest with yourself about what you have and are willing to offer as part of a relationship and consider what you expect, and more importantly deserve, from someone else.

4. Be prepared

Mentally prepare yourself to enter the dating scene. Don’t expect that you will bump into Mr/Mrs. Perfect in a grocery aisle tomorrow. Instead, keep in mind that you will need to make an effort to try new things in order to meet new people.

5. Ease up on the pressure

Dating with the goal of finding your next relationship is fine, but making it your sole purpose can backfire. The pressure can cause you to miss out on the enjoyment of dating itself or worse, it can scare someone you’re interested in away.

6. Don’t be afraid to reject

There’s no sugar coating it, rejection is a part of dating, and there is no upside to dragging something out with someone you know isn’t right for you.  Rejection is part of the game so try your best to stay positive and view any kind of rejection as an opportunity to better yourself.

7. Never settle

It’s a big red flag if you have to talk yourself into being with someone. Remember that it’s your life and that you can trust your gut. If you ever find yourself in a position where you think you might just settle for “Mr/Mrs. Right Now” instead of “Mr/Mrs. Right”,  take a little “me” time. The short break from the dating scene will be just what you need.

8. Have fun

Dating should be fun. Make sure you are enjoying yourself while you’re on the hunt for that special someone. So relax and embrace it for what it is; the opportunity to meet new people, try new things and learn more about yourself.

Kavvita Ajwani is the president of Montreal’s newest speed dating company, Dashing Date. Check out their calendar for all upcoming events.