BATS Theatre, Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

14/02/2017 - 18/02/2017

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

04/04/2017 - 08/04/2017

NZ Fringe Festival 2017 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Watch as Bron Batten goes on actual first dates- live onstage.  

Featuring a different volunteer participant each night Onstage Dating takes the fraught and intoxicating performance of modern courtship to the next level- all in front of the audience.

Onstage Dating toasts the conventions of the traditional first date, testing the commitment and limits of the performer, volunteer and audience alike. Witness the vulnerability, thrills and heartbreak of the dating experience up close, as Bron Batten facilitates, interrogates, deconstructs and gleefully destroys the rituals of contemporary romance.

WINNER – Adelaide Fringe Touring Award
NOMINATED – Best Performance, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016

‘Super-intelligent performance FOUR STARS’ – The Age
‘If only all awkward first dates were as funny as this’ – Sydney Morning Herald
‘A hilarious shared delight, with moments of poignancy … Onstage Dating is fraught, fresh, fascinating and off the cuff’ – Australian Stage
‘Bron Batten is a national treasure’ – Across the Aisle

BATS Theatre Studio, 1 Kent Tce, Mt Victoria, Wellington
14-18 Feb 2017, 9pm
BOOKINGS: fringe.co.nz TICKETS: $20/$15/$12

BATS Theatre Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Mt Victoria, Wellington
4 – 8 April 2017, 8.30pm
Book at bats.co.nz 


Theatre , Solo ,

1 hr

Dating offers evocative, brave theatre

Review by Georgina Stylianou 06th Apr 2017

I really didn’t know what to expect.

I’d heard Bron Batten’s show recently had a sell-out run at the New Zealand Fringe Festival.

I’d heard the words “raw”, “controversial” and “cringey” used to describe it. I like these adjectives when it comes to an intimate stage performance and Bron’s interactive dating show wholeheartedly lives up to such adjectives. [More


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Hard-to-beat inventiveness

Review by Margaret Austin 15th Feb 2017

“If only all awkward first dates were as funny as this,” says the Sydney Morning Herald. Indeed.

The stage set is simple, but suggestive: a couch placed centrally and a table with a couple of wine glasses on it.

Bron Batten, who’s had a lot of success with what we’re about to see, enters and eyes the audience speculatively. “We do it publicly,” she observes, commenting on dating in the computer age. And she chooses to do it very publicly – onstage, night after night, with a volunteer she’s offered a comp ticket to earlier. Risky?

Bron Batten is into risk. She went on 50 dates to research her show, in Australia, the UK, and Europe.  “It’s bleak out there,” she informs us, referring to the Portuguese gent who told her first up about his irritable bowel syndrome.

The audience gets some information about the bizarre courtship customs of Austria and Finland, as well as those of certain animals, before Batten gets down to the real business of the evening.

Josh, one of her several dating propositions, recognises himself from the description she reads out. He takes the stage, and from then on Batten shares top billing with him. 

What makes this show especially enjoyable is, as you would think, its unpredictability. The dialogue springs initially from questions Batten has secreted in her clothing, and they lead to moments that are both hilarious and endearing. What develops – though there may be variations from night to night – is not necessarily controlled by Batten, and shrieks of laughter from the audience recognise this.

“I’ll take my socks off and see how I go,” remarks Josh – and when the socks turn out to be odd ones, Batten says, “Any reviewers out there can see this isn’t a set up.” 

What I saw surprised me with its ability to provoke thought as well as laughter. Who’s in charge really?

For a test of inventiveness, this kind of show would be hard to beat. Hats off to Batten and her hapless, but not helpless, partner in entertainment.


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