Adelaide Fringe 2013
What does a person do on a real date with a real person? How do you kill the hours (and nerves) before the date? Drinking pink champagne and gossiping about Grindr exploits may not work for everyone, but it works for Felix. He divulges to the audience the world of Grindr and online hook-ups, and reflects on the pros and cons of this approach to ‘dating’ with entertaining anecdotes. Sometimes scandalous, always hilarious this is a show that appeals to anyone who has a love-hate relationship with social media, and nerves before a date.
Felix has a date with Sam! A real date with a real person that he met in real life, and he has a few hours to kill before meeting him. After assuring his mother that he won’t be getting drunk that night and enquiring about his father’s health what can he possibly do for a few hours that will take his mind off the daunting prospects of interacting face-to-face with someone he really likes without spilling, burping, or tripping over? If only he hadn’t deleted Grindr…
Fuelled by pink champagne and mounting nerves Felix (played brilliantly by Gavin Roach) gives the audience a tour of Grindr—this exclusive community of gay men looking to either chat or hook up is the perfect way to keep busy for a few hours. Felix’s personal experiences with Grindr started with Adam a male prostitute who invited Felix to watch sci-fi movies and…that’s it. Since then Felix has had much more fulfilling encounters with ‘Foot Man’, a man-god with a ‘crease’, and ‘Fanta hairs’. Inevitably the fun and games end for a while after he is lured out to a public street corner and requested to strip and dance for one particular Grindr member, before realising it’s a cruel prank.
Amidst the entertaining stories, Felix grows more and more nervous about his date with Sam and considers rescheduling for a more sober time. While debating this plan, he realises that the thing he misses the most since joining Grindr is the uncertainty and thrill of meeting men in the real world—the little gestures that speak volumes, the conspiratorial winks and nudges when a fashion faux pas walks past, the racing heart and butterflies in the stomach, and the physical contact and bond with someone that means so much more than it does with online hook ups. Those only last an hour or so anyway.
Perched on a lurid couch surrounded by magazines, fast food packages and sequined accessories Roach draws the audience in with a twinkle in his eye and bursts of giggles as the gossip becomes more and more scandalous. As he slugs back champagne and reveals his innermost thoughts you can’t help but nod in sheepish agreement; first date nerves are universal, as are the hazards of online social interaction. It’s a cold cruel digital world where every man is for himself.
Although the audience is entertained by Felix’s stories, we never find out about his relationship with his mother or the rest of the family, which at the start seemed to be an inevitable storyline and influence on the story. The lighting could have also added to the story and conveyed the tone of the narratives if it hadn’t been so harsh and stagnant. Despite these few shortcomings the laughs were loud and steady and the gratifying conclusion had a hopeful note that lingered.