This One Time, On Grindr ...
SYDNEY: Every gay man with a smart phone will relate to hilarious tales about Grindr in this festival comedy hit, back in Sydney for Mardi Gras. By Lachlan Bennett.
“Everyone’s heard of Grindr and everyone uses it in different capacities,” says Gavin Roach, the man behind comedy hit, Confessions of a Grindr Addict.
“But I don’t think you need to be a gay or straight, on Grindr or RSVP.com, to feel isolated. Everyone’s got a story. Everyone’s experiences are the same. We’re just looking to connect and it just happens now that with technology being the way it is, we can connect in the palm of our hand.”
Since debuting at the Sydney Fringe Festival in 2011, Roach’s one-man show has toured all around Australia and to the UK for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now the production is returning to Sydney as part of this year’s Mardi Gras Festival.
It tells the story of Felix who revaluates his dating life when he realises that, for over a year, he hasn’t had one date that wasn’t set up over the online – over the internet or otherwise.
Throughout the play, Felix shares his secrets about sex and love and recounts his many dating misadventures born out of gay hook-up app, Grindr.
“There’s a lot of humour in the truth behind it all,” Roach tells SX. “Felix is kind of like my alter ego. He’s a dramatisation of me and the adventures I’ve had on Grindr. It’s about his interactions with boys, how he feels about it, and then where that took him . . . and how he then saw dating in the real world.”
Roach, 30, originally studied acting at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. Through the course of the degree, Roach realised his true passion was in directing, eventually completing his honours in that field.
Although Roach has directed a few productions since then, Confessions of a Grindr Addict is the first play he’s ever written.
“I’ve always wanted to write but never really thought that I could. And then one day I just put my fingers to the keyboard and then off I went, never really knowing if it was good or bad.”
“When I first did it in Sydney they were a really rowdy audience. There was a lot of people laughing, talking, slapping each other and pointing, saying, ‘You do that! That’s you!’”
Almost 18 months on, Confessions of a Grindr Addict is still going strong with the most-recent Perth production selling out before the play even opened.
But despite the tales of Grindr mishaps, Roach still has a somewhat positive relationship with the ubiquitous app.
“It’s a wonderful way of seeing who’s about and starting up conversations with people who you might not normally get a chance to chat with."
Confessions of a Grindr Addict, February 19 – March 1, TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst. Book: www.mardigras.org.au