REVIEW: Onstage Dating (The Basement)

Review by Tim George

Bron Batten

[Portrait of the Critic as a Hapless Moron]

Onstage Dating
Photo by Nic Lee

Intro laying out key thesis/funny opening line. Tease of show tone, etc. Insert joke if too pretentious.

Plot summary/lay out basic setup/name major players/crew etc. 

Review show.

Conclusion — good/bad.

I’ve always felt that the key to a good review is to get out of the way AND tell the people what the show is and whether it works or not.

Theatre Scenes also has a general policy of not reviewing projects by contributors.

So last night I went along to see Bron Batten’s show Onstage Dating. The show involves Bron picking a pleb from the audience and going through the motions of a first date. The audience get to see everything. Chatting. Drinking. The world’s worst game of Twister. Drinking. Plenty of awkward staring. More drinking.

Sounds exquisite. Nothing like a good dose of schadenfreude to get summer started right. I call a mate and invite him to see the show.

Beforehand, the guy in the ticket booth gave my good friend and I questionnaires. Because I’m an idiot, I convince my very good friend that we should fill out said questionnaires, on the extremely off chance that one of us get picked to be Brown’s first guest/hostage.

We filled out our sheets, giggling away at the idea of what we were signing up for.

About five minutes later, as I stepped onstage and turned to face the audience, above the laughter and applause I could hear my very good friend cackling away. Bahahaha.

No worries. I’ll just follow Bron’s lead, and see what happens.

We sit at a table. Booze appears. I seek relief in a glass of wine. Sadly, it is soon gone and Bron is leading me to a mat covered in coloured dots. My best friend who I’ve known for years is still howling.

About five minutes later, our bodies awkwardly entwined on the Twister mat, my head balanced precariously against Bron’s bosom, I ponder the series of circumstances that led me up to this point. My best friend in the whole wide world is still roaring in the front row.

A bed appears onstage. Along with more booze. At the same time our clothes begin to disappear.

And then Bron is gone and [NOTABLE AUCKLAND PLAYWRIGHT] is sitting beside me. My soon-to-be-deceased friend is still laughing…

Onstage Dating is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had, on or offstage. If you have not bought a ticket yet, do it. And make sure you fill out the questionnaire.

Life is filled with moments where you should have said ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’, and this is one of them. Onstage Dating is friggin’ awesome.

Onstage Dating plays until 11 Feb. Details see The Basement
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