The Man from Gonville and other adventures in Tinderland

Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

22/02/2024 - 25/02/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Created, written and performed by Lisa Gooch.
Original music by Lisa Gooch.

Intrepid Weka

The Man from Gonville and other adventures in Tinderland is a one-woman show written and performed by comedienne/musician Lisa Gooch. Lisa (over)shares her experiences of dipping her toe into the deep end of the online dating pool as a 50-something fresh out of a 20 year marriage. First performed in Whanganui’s La Fiesta festival, the show mixes music, banter and storytelling to prove that Tinder ain’t for pussies.

Wellington Fringe Festival 2024
Fringe Bar, 6pm, 22-25 February 2024
Tickets $15 from or $20 at the door.

Cast: Lisa Gooch
make up: Cindy Thompson
Tech: Bella Carlyle, Angie Gooch, Leki Lyons
FoH: William Thompson, Lillias Ovenden-Carlyle, Beauyn Goochwood

[R18] , Comedy , Music , Puppetry , Solo , Spoken word , Stand-up comedy , Variety , Theatre ,

60 minutes

Refreshing, relatable and engaging

Review by Shemaia Dixon 23rd Feb 2024

The Man From Gonville and other adventures in Tinderland begins with Lisa Gooch explaining the premise of the show. Lisa is a 50 something year-old woman coming out of a 20-something year marriage and dipping her toes back into the dating pool via Tinder. She is a heterosexual woman, so all her stories will be about men. She then begins the PowerPoint that will accompany the show.

Having explained the process of her amicable divorce with a man she speaks of fondly, Lisa sings an original song about the relationship. This sets the tone for the night. Her conversations with some men on Tinder prove online dating is a hit or miss. We hear various stories of the men she meets and how each relationship panned out. Each story is separated by either an original song, a cover of someone else’s song or a sea shanty. There are men who live inconveniently far away, men who are nice but it just didn’t work out, and men who are definitely just scammers looking for money.

The show’s feeling of organised chaos is engaging. One story is told straightforwardly, the next is told through puppets … This adds to the comedic element of the show. Lisa also brings a relatable quality, telling stories like a fun auntie. She is funny, cheeky and real.

While the PowerPoint is useful for providing visual aid and context to stories, the font chosen can be hard to read and sometimes makes the letters blend together. I’d recommend a font that is more spaced out and easier to read. However, the way Lisa hides the men’s identities by drawing cartoon smiley faces over their faces is very entertaining.

The songs are catchy and Lisa’s voice has a nice rustic quality. I would also recommend working on diction, particularly while singing, as some words are hard to understand and seem to blend together. The songs provide a good divide between each story.

While it is entertaining when Lisa replaces the word ‘love’ with knob in song titles and asks for audience suggestions, some younger audience members don’t know what ‘knob’ is supposed to mean. This means that although ‘All You Need is Knob’ sounds funny, the exact meaning is lost to them.

Lisa’s show proves that dating in your 50s can definitely be an interesting experience – some fascinating people can be found on Tinder, to put it mildly. She promotes the idea that it can be OK for women, particularly older women, to date casually and not want a serious relationship, or to just hook up. There’s nothing wrong with simply wanting companionship and a good time. 

The stories are varied and the audience is able to engage with each one. Lisa reveals she had good experiences from Tinder as well as bad, and she will keep engaging with the app. It’s almost refreshing to hear that she is still friends with some of the men in her stories. The Man From Gonville and other adventures in Tinderland is refreshing, relatable and engaging.


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