The Tinder Profile of Dorian Gray

Mar 04, 2015

This supremely entitled show is like all the best stories your friends could tell you, but only when on their A-game, over a beer.

It’s funny and sometimes hilarious, small-scale and honest; it’s an example of the Adelaide Fringe at its real, human best.

A clique of fewer than 20 of us is seated facing a small stage in the crumbly-brick kitsch of the Producers’ Warehouse on Grenfell Street, under fairy lights hung by duct tape and among some admirable lamps.

Most of us are enjoying a second happy-hour beverage when the lights turn low.

Over a loud speaker, suitably Victorian-era-sounding strings emerge, and Dave Bloustien’s recorded voice delivers a brilliant, hysterical satire on the opening pages of Oscar Wilde’s novel. It’s exactly what you might hope would kick off a show named The Tinder Profile of Dorian Gray.

Bloustien saunters on stage after a few minutes of this monologue – grey mutton-chops, bouncing quiff hairdo, skinny tie – to reflect on the paradoxes of sophisticated and bogan Adelaide, his middle-aged inability to become an adult (hence the title?), the soft melodies of punk and the coherent politics of hip-hop.

It’s the high-brow, low-brow, sharpened Australian comedy we used to get from The Glass House and Good News Week – both of which Bloustien has written for in the past.

The narrative winds its way along the performer’s misadventures with online dating, a potential STI, and fatherhood after a divorce.

It’s lovely, genial stuff with just a bit of edge.

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Every five or 10 minutes, as Bloustien rounds off an anecdote, he wanders over to a wine barrel on stage, picking up one of his here’s-a-little-something-I-prepared-earlier scraps of paper.

It looks amateurish, and you’re not expecting much. But the languorous lines he reads off each scrap is a brief snippet of a rolling parody of something like Fifty Shades of Grey, bringing some audience members to immediate tears of laughter.

“I want you to hurt me, until I say… peanut.”

Perhaps this is indicative.

Bloustien has a sabre-sharp wit, in text. While the memorised and improvised routines are funny, and you like him a lot, a small part of you wishes he could just expand his lightning-bolt snippets of hilarious and make them the whole show.

He admits, during the performance, that the format is “in its infancy”.

A one-man comedy play by Bloustien named The Tinder Profile of Dorian Gray, following the misadventures of an actual Dorian Gray, with an actual Tinder profile, would bring the house down. But then again, we’d miss out on all the embarrassing tales of real life you get with this show.

There’s a tinge of sadness among the joviality that makes the performance so endearing. You come away from it thinking you’ve spent an excellent hour with a close friend.

This wonderful piece of Adelaide Fringe is well worth your time.

Dave Bloustien: The Tinder Profile of Dorian Gray is being presented at The Producers Warehouse, 235 Grenfell Street, until March 15.

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