Inspired by true life events, traumatic dates, obsessive exes and a few too many one night stands, Love Me Tinder bares witness to the highs and lows of modern app dating.
From the moment the trio burst through the Butterfly Club curtain, they work for that opening night crowd. Immediately we recognise some familiar, albeit slightly cliched characters from the gay scene. Tzatziki (Joachim Coghlan) the bear desperado pining for the one true love that got away, the monosyllabic Jorge; Baba Ganoush (Christian Gillet) looking for ‘love’ in all the wrong, somewhat dark and sleazy places and the incredibly unlucky in love and scary eyed bestie Taramasalata (Alexandra Aldrich).
All three are fine comedic performers. Aldrich’s physical comedy is particularly well received. On the whole, their comic timing is well paced but a few opening night nerves, a couple of unsure moments and forgotten lyrics did upset the rhythm in a few instances but the trio’s obvious stage experience quickly got them back on track and ’swiping’ again with gay abandon. There are some very clever, funny and beautifully toe curling moments. The quintessential ‘Eurovision’ reveal has nothing on this show – you may never look at a pair of Aussiebums the same! But I shall go no further, for want of spoiling the moment!
In their own words this is a ‘mash up of reimagined musical theatre classics, operetta gems and pop power ballads’. There are some definite stand outs; ‘You Could Drive a Person Crazy; A Boy Like That; Three Little Maids and One Night Only are very well conceived. But as good as some of the comedy and song choices are, it is let down by some loose inclusions. Little Shop’s Dentist felt jarringly unnecessary as the sadomasichist element is revealed through the preceding dialogue and Urinetown’s Why Did I Listen to that Man felt included purely for its shock value. With twenty one song inclusions, a mean feat for all involved, it could benefit from an edit or two.
Vocally the Coghlan and Gillet are undeniable powerhouses. But on occasion I felt I was witnessing a battle of the belters. In an intimate space like the Butterfly Club, vocal control is key not only to please the ear but also to fully immerse into the cleverness of the comedy. Unfortunately, Aldrich was all too often drowned out, to the point it looked as if she was miming. But there are some lovely trio moments with all three blending beautifully. Lonesome Polecat a highlight as it peels away the veneer of these larger than life characters, giving us a lovely glimpse into something real.
Accompanist Owen James does a wonderful job on the songs and even gets into the action on occasion – which he seems to relish. And a special mention to Alexandra Aldrich for some inspired costuming – those fascinators are surely ‘fashion on the field’ contenders!
With some editing this will evolve into a well rounded and balanced cabaret. I enjoyed my evening with the Love me Tinder crew and judging by the whistling and hollering, the small but vocal audience did too!