Produced by Connie Stride and co-directed by Emily Ashbrook and Elizabeth Bailey,
The Tinder Tales is amusing as much as it is evocative.
All eight actors make great use of the space afforded to them. Audience inclusion is minimal, but executed well when the opportunity presents itself. As a drama it flips its message quickly between serious and quirky tones, never maintaining enough ground to commit to one, though the overall mood remains comical. Initially I imagined that it would not appeal to an older generation, but looking around the room, composed largely of seniors, it went down pretty well. There are no isolating qualities, nor far-fetched attempts at stories, as the drama on stage feels relatable albeit the sardonic revulsion it evokes. At the centre of these one night stands is the troubles of a shallow society grappling with casual dating.
The fallout of the first half’s explosive humour gives birth to a more therapeutic third quarter that is sombre in places without dragging momentum. It still progresses at an even pace and does not discard any of its former intricacies where lighting cues, sound and transitions aren’t relaxed, but instead considers the more harrowing and troublesome qualities of 2017’s most notorious dating app others than its mere banality. Unsurprisingly, the ending comes off solemn but serves to reaffirm the works overarching themes. This would have felt like a telegraphed conclusion had the subsequent encore not ended with some genuine and amusing confessions from each of the eight cast members. Written well in spite of given dangers, The Tinder Tales is amusing as much as it is evocative.