The Brisbane Powerhouse is hosting Nath Valvo’s Grindr: A Love Story? It’s a no holds barred, in your face comedy that regardless of your own sexual orientation is guaranteed to have you in stiches. Nath’s experiences and self-professed addiction to the smart phone app Grindr is up front and centre as he invites the audience into his circle of love and trust (or something like that) to confess the highs, lows, peculiarities and paradoxes inherent in picking up using Grindr.
Grindr is a smatphone app that uses GPS technology to identify and locate users who are within close proximity of each other. It’s used globally by approximately 1.5 million men every day. The primary use of the app is for quick and anonymous sexual encounters but Nath quickly educates the audience as to how the “Gay Code” is not subtle or about reading in-between the lines. If a Grindr member is asking for what looks like a mundane and ‘normal’ request, like help with work in his garden, then that’s exactly what he’s seeking.
The audience gets a real look at the app from Grindr’s manifesto to the live set-up of a profile of a volunteer Nath plucks from the audience. We hear about how his use of Grindr all began and how he enabled the app and the subsequent sex to consume his life. Nath’s honesty is what immediately endears the audience to him and his ability to frame his story with sarcasm and obvious absurdities is what makes his show hilarious from go to woe.
Some of Nath’s stories are definitely not for the faint hearted and while this audience member didn’t find anything all that shocking in his confessions, I did wonder at one point if he is actually free from his addiction to sex and using Grindr as a means to procure it. Nath did proclaim he doesn’t use it as much these days, but one has to wonder. While thoroughly entertaining and extremely funny for nearly the entire performance, one part of his show did lull as he waxed on for a little too long about one encounter and his comedy turned from comedic therapy into unashamed bragging.
A highlight was the moment Nath shared his affinity with love as a subject matter and pondered through the use of inspirational love quotations if perhaps love was what subconsciously motivated him to join Grindr. Here Nath proved his skill for manipulating comedic elements, once he got rolling with the quotes and the audience knew what to expect with each new quote, his timing and control over the ensuing laughter was superb.
Grindr: A Love Story? is a hilarious glimpse into or an affirmation of a communal story (depending on your orientation) that vividly and without apology takes you step by step through the lived experiences of Nath Valvo’s use of the Grindr app. It’s wild, wicked and wonderful comedy that the lucky ticket holders to this sold out Brisbane Powerhouse season won’t be disappointed by.
Brisbane Powerhouse presents
Grindr: A Love Story?
Venue: Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse QLD
Dates: 11 – 12 October, 2013
Tickets: $36 – $32