Dublin Fringe Festival: GRINDR/a love story

GRINDR/a love story as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

GRINDR/a love story as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

While waiting for the lights to rise on PETTYCASH’s new production, I whip out my phone and tap on an app that conjures a list of nearby suitors. The magical locating device is GRINDR: a networking app for gay, bi-sexual and bi-curious men looking for chat, love and fun of the string-less variety. I spot many profiles in the auditorium, here to see spoken word artist Oisín McKenna riff on the idea: can we find love over the internet?

McKenna plays Johnny, a young introvert fluent in Facebook fact-finding and twitterature. He’s pining over an ex-boyfriend and GRINDR keeps putting him in touch with guys who are disastrously incompatible. But if you don’t click socially, perhaps there is a meaningful connection to found in sex. As Johnny puts it: “If we met and fucked and hated / at least we would have communicated”.
Occasionally, McKenna’s rhymes wander too off the mark, as long passages see his protagonist chew repeatedly over his insecurities instead of braving any kind of change. “Didn’t you think I was cute and shy?”, he says modestly but defeating any sign of all this introspection bringing about any change.
When he picks up the pace, McKenna rolls his words and throws them with passion. We feel his character’s desperate need for change, though a flat ending doesn’t fully deliver it.

This production locates a familiar rhythm in the lives of young gay men but this it doesn’t punch hard enough to have us sign off GRINDR forever.

Star rating: ★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Dublin Fringe Festival: GRINDR/a love story by PETTYCASH

11-14 September, 2013

Produced by PETTYCASH
In Players Theatre

Written by Oisin McKenna
Directed by David Doyle and Patrick Culhane
Performed by Oisin McKenna and Matthew Malone
Produced by Cat O'Shea and Aoife Leonard
Costume by Stephen Moloney