Sitting in a trendy bar after seeing Tinder Tales: A New Australian Musical and indulging in a very strong Vodka lemon cocktail, I picked up my phone and returned to Tinder after a long hiatus.
Writers Mattie McLeod and Thomas Bradford have created a fabulous show which swept heartbreakingly through every one of my own personal experiences of Tinder and while it forced me to relive the pain of finding and losing love the modern way, it also gave me hope. I’m not the only one who thinks love at first swipe is possible, I’m not the only one who makes allowances for men and their insecurities/shortcomings/bad behaviour because I so want to find love. I’m not the only one who self-sabotages as a result of past hurts and a plague of doubts about my own worth. And I’m not the only person on Tinder who thinks that there is hope of a happy ending that is more than sexual.
That’s the wonderful thing about literature and artistic expression; it is an eternal interpretation of a moment in time, a comment on society’s approach to interpersonal interaction and a poignant reflection of our human frailties.
As someone who once found love at first swipe, this show could have propelled me into the depths of despair or it could have helped me rise up and look with satirical eyes at my own stories. Luckily it was the latter, to know that there are more people than just me who experience Tinder, dating and love in such extremes. From joy to suicidal self-doubt, this fantastic performance analyses the main character’s experience from the inside out.
Every woman in the audience gasped and groaned at the same scenarios, highlighting the similarity of our collective Tinder experiences. From the guy who “just wants to keep things casual”, to the ‘just broke up with someone/emotionally unavailable’, to the “doesn’t know how to define love anyway” man, the writing of the characters in this script was superb.
The cast (Eddie Teatro-Girasole, Mel O’Brien, Aubrey Flood, Yashith Fernando, Callum Warrender and Tash Jenkins) are highly skilled, well-trained actors and singers. Their voices are strong, pitch perfect and their physical characterisation and dancing in time with the music is divine, adding drama, sadness, joy, anxiety and every other emotion to the show. Overarching all was the sublime humour they brought to this topic. The audience was constantly in stitches, occasionally sad for our heroine and generally hopeful that eventually, she would meet the Tinder match of her dreams.
The cast of voices in Abby’s head, Doubt and Insecurity being the loudest and omniscient of all, with Dr Over Analyse putting his opinion in at any opportunity, would be familiar to anyone who’s ever been single and embarked on the Tinder dating scene. The rhetoric; “you’re boring, you’ll die alone, no one will ever love you, you’re fat“, and the constant barrage of insults that we fling upon ourselves was so relatable, I felt like the writers had been following me around and looking inside my own mind.
The song list was hilarious and vigilantly stuck to the theme with “Dick is dick” and “Perfect” being so catchy and crowd favourites.
This show asks a major philosophical question of its audience. Is love at first swipe possible?Like Abby, I believe that it is.
Tinder Tales: A New Australian Musical is one of the highlights of the comedy festival this year. For anyone who’s ever had a Tinder date, you will identify with every single scene. For those who haven’t, go and see it so you can really understand what your single friends are going through. I believe the show is sold out but it must surely run again somewhere else. Follow them on Facebook for updates. This is one show you don’t want to miss.