BATS Theatre, Wellington

06/03/2015 - 07/03/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Gavin Roach’s 3 Play Bonanza 

After sell out seasons around the world, Australia’s Gavin Roach is bringing not one, not two, but three of his one man shows to the New Zealand Fringe! Hold onto your hats and get prepared to experience Gavin Roach’s 3 Play Bonanza! 
All at Bats Theatre, 9pm:
Confessions of a Grindr Addict: 6th-7th March
Any Womb Will Do:  8th-9th March
I Can’t Say the F Word:  10th-11th March

Confessions of a Grindr Addict

Felix has a date. A real one! But this time it’s different. So why is he freaking out? It’s been over a year since Felix has been on a proper date and he can’t help but wonder: “What does one actually do on a date that doesn’t involve sex?”

As Felix takes those first shaky steps into the uncharted world of a romantic encounter, maybe deleting his trusted smartphone app wasn’t such a smart move after all! 

“Gavin’s confident writing is matched with an assured, well paced performance.” – Stage Whispers 

“Roach himself could charm anyone, and his impish stage persona makes the artificial construct of a theatrical narrative flow as naturally as any of Alan Bennett’s seminal talking heads.” – Fringe Journal

“In leaving cliché and tired presentation behind, Roach’s offering is a triumph in connecting an all-too-common experience with something far greater.” – Samesame

Venue: BATS Theatre1 Kent Terrace
Dates: 6th-7th March
Price: Full Price: $18.00 | Concession: $14.00 | Fringe Addict/Fringe Artist: $12.00 | Three Show Pass: $36.00 
Tickets/info: Online: or  
Phone: (04) 802 4175

Theatre , Solo ,


Empathy-inducing insights

Review by John Smythe 07th Mar 2015

The ubiquitous couch holds a teddy bear, there’s a bubby bottle on the floor with a wine glass, and a jandal – sorry, it’ll turn out we are in Sydney: a thong – a gold one. (Not exactly Chekhov’s gun but its potential remains unexplored.)

The setup’s a twist on the alcoholic going sober, the junkie going straight, the porn addict swearing off in favour of a real relationship. As the title reveals, Felix has been addicted to Grindr (a geosocial networking app for gay, bisexual and bi-curious men). If you haven’t tried it, Felix will expose the truth of it; if you have, you will recognise those casual hook-up and home-alone truths.

The monologue show opens with Felix (Gavin Roach) on the phone to his mum, and she’s right: he’s snappish. It’s the prospect of a real date with a guy he met in a park when his shopping bag broke that has got him all in a tizzy and swearing off Grindr. The burp-inducing bubbly is his refuge.  

His anxiety-driven monologue offers insights-aplenty into the world of a single gay Sydney-sider who has grown weary of Grindr-sourced casual hook-ups and the loneliness of the long-nights chat-roomer, yet fears a change towards … He doesn’t actually mention the c-word but I deduce the prospect of long term commitment is what freaks him out. That and being seen to conform to his mother’s wishes. 

En route, as he self-harms his prospects by consuming the entire bottle of bubbly, Felix mounts a strong argument for Grindr as an alternative to the expensive, tedious and invariably inconclusive gay bar scene. But Grindr also has its pitfalls.

On this first night, the predominantly gay male audience – mostly in couples, I observe – is intriguingly quiet yet very attentive. I’m told Roach uses Grindr as a key marketing tool, so suppose most of the men are relating Felix’s story to their own experiences. The rest of us are being educated – and it is the young women who shriek loudest with shock and delight at some of the revelations and graphic descriptions.

Roach’s Felix has a likeable boy-next-door familiarity, a quiet vulnerability and enough all-too-human flaws to induce empathy in anyone. As always, warts-and-all truth works a treat. 

Confessions of a Grindr Addict is on again tonight, to be followed by two-night seasons of Gavin Roach’s two other solo shows: Any Womb Will Do and I Can’t Sat the F Word.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council