It’s true that a journey of a millions sites begins with a single click. And for many singles waiting to click – they journey into the lives of many through the online dating portholes.


In the modern day.

It’s a jungle out there. It’s tough.

A tech savvy, time-starved society easily dissolves the slow burn, polite courting, getting to know you ritual and replaces it with a harsh tick-a-box/fill-in-a field immediate gratification. And it’s not just the tweeting generation which is turning to the online dating sites to find connections. The older members of society who are now on a steep learning curve are not afraid of venturing into the cyberspace to find meaningful connection.

RU4Me, based on Andee Jones bestselling memoir Kissing Frogs and is the second installment of Riverside Theatre’s True West Season. With stage legend Annie Byron as adaptor/performer, directed by Wayne Harrison, this
is an astute piece of programming by Riverside – a crowd pleaser if ever I saw one.

How often is it we get to see the intimate thoughts of the older generation on stage? How often are they sexualised? How often are they sexy? How often are they talking about sex? How often do we see positive representations of older people – as something other than revered granny, world-wise sage, nurturing elder or even embittered witch?

We live in an age of aging agelessness. We are surrounded in images that privileges the young and the taut and terrific above all else – where appearance seems to be the most important part of reality. We are surrounded with advertisements for age-defying make-up, celebrities that seem forever young. It’s ridiculous and hideous what we are making ourselves into. And finally (FINALLY!) there is a living breathing example of the mature and sexy woman as she should be – just as she is – Annie Byron.

The plot is very simple – a mature woman seeks intelligent, kindly gent for Arthouse films and French dinners. She tracks through the highs and lows of internet dating – with it’s misleading character descriptions, deceptively flattering photos and excursions into feminism. We see the failure to connect – the need to connect – the desire to connect. The wants. The needs.

Placed in western Sydney the audience more than savours the specificity of recognizing the locations. There are sighs and giggles of recognition – groans and gasps of surprise and delight in observations keenly observed and sharply honed. This is a celebration of the older generation’s intelligence, politics and sexuality.

Annie Byron is delightful to watch. She is naturally effervescent and articulate. We want her to find love. We know she deserves it. She chats to us casually like an old friend… and at times swings between romantic cliches with great ease. The overall tone of the show is light – and I suspect that no harm would be done if the heartfelt/ heartbreak or loneliness would be indulged a little more – even if only for a moment. All hints at life-long partnership – fear of relationship failure are omitted – leaving us with a romantic comedy which is easy and light.

Wayne Harrison has neatly and clearly delivered a contemporary story with just the right amount of yester-year reference, and keeps the conversation snappy and personable and has brought out a brave and bolshy, sexy performance in Annie Byron.

This show will sell out. It’s great fun and perfect for anyone who has tried the computerized chaos of finding love online.