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Wednesday 08 April 2009


Review: Patrick Graham's Post Gay

Posted in: Performance
By Matt Akersten - 26th February 2009

Gay Kiwi playwright Patrick Graham seems to pride himself on being 'the Ed Wood of theatre', but while his previous bleak and incestuous play White Trash Omnibus proved a challenge for some theatergoers to comprehend, others loved it and were certain it was 'raw and real'.

PostGay3.jpg

We're on safer ground with Post Gay, which premièred last night in Wellington's BATS Theatre, and heads to Auckland next month. Compact and straightforward, this time the premise is simple. Nice guy Matthew (Todd Morgan) tries to meet his match online through a hook-up website, spurred on by his bubbly flatmate Cecilia (Natasha Ross). But you guessed it, there a lot of freaks out there… and things certainly don't improve when he turns to an 0900 phoneline!

Matthew's online cruising is shown to us via a big projection on his lounge wall, where we see the talent on 'NZMating' and read along as he sets up his dates. Gorgeous and rising-star talent Rudi Vodanovich plays all the men he meets - they are each very different but equally hilarious.

His flatmate Cecilia could easily have been a stock-standard 'fag-hag' cipher, but fortunately she gets her own story too… it's just a shame her man never appears on stage at any point. It would have been lovely to meet him properly as her drama plays out.

As sexually frank as gay dating often is, there's lots of vicarious thrills to be had watching Post Gay, and a plot which is instantly recognisable as ego-imploding drama so many of us go through when we're whoring ourselves out in cyberspace. But there's no clichés here - we simply haven't seen the all-male online dating scene explored in this way before. It's long overdue, perhaps?

So log off your Mating profile for a while and go see Post Gay while you can - you'll be glad you supported local theatre, and reassured that those guys chatting to you online aren't all freaks. Just most of them!

Post Gay is on at BATS theatre as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival in Wellington until 28 February (shows at 9.30pm), and at The New Mercury Theatre as part of the inaugural Auckland Fringe Festival from 10 – 13 March (shows at 7.30pm).


Matt Akersten - 26th February 2009