Cape Town audiences are in for a treat! While the entertainment industry was shut down and we were forced to stay indoors, VR Theatrical thought it the perfect time to start developing a new project: a small-scale original musical with a catchy title that would aim to make theatre relevant to younger audiences. And so, the idea for HOW TO DATE LIKE A F*#$ING GROWNUP! was born.
What is it about?
Tinder. Bumble. Grindr. Wishing. Hoping. Swiping.
The way in which we meet potential partners has shifted dramatically in the last decade. Ever feel like you’ve been thrown into a pool of millions of potential partners, but nobody has taught you how to swim? Adulting is hard. And so is dating. Even with all these new technologies.
As the title suggests, HOW TO DATE LIKE A F*#$ING GROWNUP! offers a guide to the do’s and don’ts of modern dating (with a little more emphasis on the don’ts!). We’re not saying we have all the answers. Heck, we’re not even saying you should listen to our advice, but we’ve got a few pertinent and potentially hilarious tips for helping you find, or just deal with, that special someone…
Through a series of hilarious (and some close-to-the-bone) vignettes and songs, this production explores human connection and how, despite all the technological advances, there is still no substitute for falling in love.
Why the title?
“After extensive market research, we realised that books with expletives in the title had great appeal in the 20 – 30 year old market,” Wessel Odendaal from VRT. “Books ranging in genre from cook books to self-help all seemed to fare well, so we decided to put the salty title to the test in the theatrical context.” As the title suggests, this one is not so much focused on your grandma's tastes in theatre, but rather aims to speak to (and give voice to) young people, trying to find that special person in the 21st Century.
Fresh Creative Talents
VRT divides its creative ventures between presenting existing, well-known blockbuster content and commissioning and developing new work for South African stages. As part of VRT’s mandate to create a platform to develop new directors and young writers, a competent and fresh young creative team took no time to assemble.
Daniel Keith Geddes was commissioned to write the pop-inspired score (and additional lyrics) which is jam-packed with the upbeat sounds of Mika, gut-wrenching break-up songs á-la Adele, Doja Cat trap-hip-hop-vibes and pulsating EDM (Electric Dance Music) tunes artfully blended to suit a musical theatre narrative. Mr. Geddes is also directing this first developmental workshop production.
Mark Tatham wrote the (bouncy) book and (hilarious) lyrics. Mr. Tatham is no stranger to the stage (both on stage and behind the scenes) and has written various plays that have toured South Africa, including MAN UP and NICE TO MEET YOU, NOW LET'S TAKE OFF OUR PANTS. He has held theatre residencies in Iceland, Norway and Greece and has taught theatre throughout South Africa, Europe and Asia and is currently performing in The Lion King in Korea. He has been collaborating with the South African team via Zoom.
Insta-Star stylist Ashleigh Butcher from @secondhandnews.thrift was tasked with bringing her eye and unique flair to the wardrobe of HOW TO DATE. Upcycling previously loved garments is her talent and she has curated a diverse range of looks for the almost 20 different characters portrayed by only 4 actors
The production is produced by VR Theatrical (Rock of Ages, Here’s to You – The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook, Avenue Q) who are renowned for getting behind new and developmental theatre projects.
HOW TO DATE LIKE A F*#$ING GROWNUP! will have its premiere on Thursday, 10 February 2022 at Gallery 44 and Theatre as part of the NEW SPACES initiative – an attempt to revive the Cape Town theatre industry after the devastating blows dealt by the Covid pandemic. To ensure a safe theatre experience, socially distanced seating, with all Covid-19 protocols will be in place and masks will be required for the duration of the performance. This production carries a PG rating and includes adult themes.
HOW TO DATE LIKE A F*#$ING GROWNUP! will be on the boards at 44 Long Street, Cape Town from 10 – 26 February 2022.
Performances are Wednesdays to Saturdays at 20:00. Tickets are available from R180 through Quicket.com at https://bit.ly/3uuI8TZ.
The production is 70mins long without an interval.
Running Time: 70mins (No interval)
Cast: Stuart Brown, Dean de Klerk, Nicolette Fernandez, Megan Spencer
Book and Lyrics by: Mark Tatham
Score and Lyrics by: Daniel Keith Geddes
Wardrobe: Ashleigh Butcher
Props: Elizma Badenhorst
Direction, Setting & Lighting: Daniel Keith Geddes
Lighting Programmer: Yolisa Bolani
Sound Operator: Brandon Kemp
Production Manager: Jaco van Rensburg, VR Theatrical