On stage: HOW TO DATE LIKE A F@#$%^! GROWNUP – A MUSICAL FOR GEN Z – premieres in Cape Town- Feb 2022


When: February 10-26, 2022 (Wednesdays to Saturdays) at 8pm ❌Season postponed. New venue and time to be announced❌ 
Where: Gallery 44, 44 Long Street, Cape Town
Tickets: R180 through Quicket.com at
Alternative booking: WhatsApp 0653184066 or email bookings@galleryfourty4.co.za
Age advisory: PG rating – includes adult themes.
Running Time:  70 mins  (no interval)
Covid protocols: 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.
Info: hello@vrtheatrical.com
Scroll down for creative team and cast

Today is Valentine’s Day 2022 and February is widely designated as the month of romance and love – or aiming to find that. VR Theatrical –the innovative and resilient theatre production company – now with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town (amazing) is presenting the premiere season of its new musical, HOW TO DATE LIKE A F*#$ING GROWNUP!, in Cape Town, at Gallery 44 and Theatre as part of the New Spaces initiative –geared at reviving the Cape Town theatre industry, after the shocking blows dealt by the Covid pandemic. By the way, the theatre has fantastic air-conditioning and there is a stunning bar, with balcony seating, overlooking Long Street. VR Theatrical is bringing back theatre as an experience. The balcony is a great place to chill before and after the show – and chat to people. The vibe of the venue, dovetails with the musical which is about dating and connecting with people.


The entertainment industry was shut down and creatives and artists were confined indoors. The VR Theatrical team reckoned that it was an excellent time to develop 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.”

Musical or play with music?

Jaco van Rensburg who is co-owner of VR Theatrical says: “I would call it a musical as we track some of the characters’ journeys from beginning to the end. But the plot is not necessarily linear, or set in the real world.  In CANDY, for instance, fictional characters who work the ‘backend’ of a dating app, sing a song about how algorithms are programmed to keep the interest of subscribers. “ 

The show – what it is about

There are 20 characters – performed by four actors. Many of the changes are ringed through savvy wardrobe changes, curated by Ashleigh Butcher. As to what the show is ‘about’, according to VR Theatrical: “Think- 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.”

This is not a pandemic dating musical

The pandemic is not referenced in the musical as it would give the production a sell-by-date. Let’s face it, dating is dating and the pandemic is a side-bar. Jaco van Rensburg: ”We decided not to feature the pandemic as part of the show in order to give it longevity beyond the current gestation.  The idea is to get this very first draft of the show up on its feet, to get some audience feedback, to gauge what people are enjoying, which jokes are landing, which characters audiences identify with and to then go back to the writer’s room for some further development before we stage a second incarnation.  The development of new work is something that VRT is very invested in.  It is also very costly to develop new work, but we believe that this developmental period will benefit the production in the end and that we will create something of lasting value that will speak to audiences and future generations.“

About the title

The title? VRT explains: “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.”

About VR Theatrical (VRT)

The company, recently established an office in Johannesburg: “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.” And yes, the company is happy to collaborate with other companies and can supply shows from its catalogue for corporate and other events and festivals. Jaco van Rensburg: “Absolutely, I have relocated to Cape Town permanently to start VRT in Cape Town while co-owner Wessel Odendaal will remain in Johannesburg and run the Gauteng office.  We are hoping to be able to develop more work simultaneously from both sides of the country and ’send’ productions from one city to the next.  We also intend on touring our work to other provinces once the restrictions are relaxed. We are definitely interested in booking corporates who would be interested in live theatre, but as I am still learning the Cape Town ropes, it may take me a while to get there.  Our philosophy has always been to produce good quality theatre that tells inspiring stories that will somehow benefit the viewer.”  Past VRT productions include Rock of Ages, Here’s to You – The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook, Avenue Q. The team is known for driving ”new and developmental theatre projects.”

New Spaces Initiative

HOW TO DATE LIKE A F*#$ING GROWNUP is presented as part of the New Spaces Initiative “a proud partnership between Tally Ho! Productions, Gallery 44 & Theatre and Ovtech Solutions.”



Stuart Brown, Dean de Klerk, Nicolette Fernandez, Megan Spencer

Book and lyrics:  Mark Tatham
Score and lyrics:  Daniel Keith Geddes
Wardrobe:  Ashleigh Butcher
Props:  Elizma Badenhorst
Direction, sets and lighting: Daniel Keith Geddes
Lighting programmer:  Yolisa Bolani
Sound operator:  Brandon Kemp
Production manager:  Jaco van Rensburg, VR Theatrical

About the creative team:  

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.  

Ashleigh Butcher- TheInsta-Star stylistfrom@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 four actors.

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