Grindr The Opera
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
With a title like Grindr The Opera you may go into the show expecting a frivolous comedy. What you end up with is a very intelligent and witty comedy, a biting commentary on modern dating and relationships but which is also self aware of the expectations of the audience.
The opening features people using laptop based dating sites (”We’re on a manhunt”) which are replaced by the personified Grindr with phones and the now infamous app. The plot is concentrated on four people’s expectations on meeting people, what happens when they meet and their relationships following this and whether they can “find a boy who is worth deleting Grindr for”.
The cast clearly relish their roles and bring a great energy and fun into the performance. Each character is shown with their desires and flaws and I’m sure everyone will find something relatable there. The lyrics are clever and insightful with really enjoyable music, including an unexpected staccato orgasm (the show is called Grindr The Opera). In terms of music I don’t know enough about Opera to say how well it fits the genre but in terms of musicals there is a lot that’s done right.
The plot is simple and that is to it’s credit as it has a clear focus and excellent execution. There is plenty of the (c)rude humour you’d expect from something based on Grindr and that Above the Stag have become so adept at doing.
However, it’s cleverer than that. The personification of Grindr shows it as an omnipresent unshakeable force and the show questions whether people allow themselves to relinquish control. But it’s real talent is in doing this without feeling preachy and maintaining the comedy.
The direction makes great use of the limited stage, making Grindr feel oppressive at times but at others barely there. There’s an excellent scene that has two parallel stories on stage at the same time which shows how different the experiences can be.
If I was to find a criticism there’s one restaurant scene that feels rushed and should be made more use of but it almost feels petty to focus on this.
At it’s heart is a great comedy tying together an engaging story. If you’re looking for a fun night out go see it, you won’t be disappointed.
For sheer enjoyment this gets 5 Laura Michelle Kelly’s
Grindr The Opera runs until Febuary 16th. For tickets head to http://www.abovethestag.com/vxl/whatson/grindr-the-opera/