1. You could end up on a date with me… Live onstage!

Though never fear, I don’t pluck people out of the audience- you have to sign up to come on stage by filling out a questionnaire before the show. I then get a bunch of answers from willing candidates, who are now only identifiable by their most basic information- like age, height, star sign, wine preference, favourite movie etc. FYI the most common answers are mid 30’s, five foot ten, Gemini, red wine and Shawshank Redemption.

2. If you come on stage to date me, you get free drinks!

A sober first date? No thank you Nelly! My volunteer date gets plied with free booze throughout the show- a great reason to volunteer! And free in that you still have to buy a ticket… And date me in front of a room full of strangers… And basically star in my show for no money… But apart from that, totally, utterly, no strings attached free!

3. Whatever your worst date was, I can top it!

Whilst I was writing this show I went on over 60 dates for… Research purposes. And they ranged from the awful to the truly horrific. And I’ve now performed Onstage Dating 85 times- so you can take some solace in the fact that no matter how terrible that terrible Tinder date was, at least it didn’t happen in front of a room full of strangers who paid to watch.

4. It’s a great show to bring a date to!

The first time I ever performed Onstage Dating was way back in 2016 and the guy who volunteered to date me was at the show on a Tinder date. So his date watched us go on a date on their date. Which is sort of like inception level dating. I also dated someone in Perth who’d only been married for 3 months, whilst his wife watched from the audience. She thought the show was hilarious… Until she really didn’t anymore. I think it was around the time that I commented that I liked his back hair- to which I received an irate heckle from her yelling ‘Yeah, I do too!’

5. You could meet your one true love- who will also be in the audience!

I have an unusually high rate of people meeting each other and forming long term relationships from coming to see Onstage Dating. I’m not sure whether it’s the abundance of love in the room or the subject matter or even some kind of romance/comedy super power that I didn’t even know that I possessed- but several people have met their significant others through coming to my show. So come along and see for yourself- you could get lucky in more ways than one!

Bron Batten performs Onstage Dating at The Butterfly Club

Dates: Mon 25 March until Sun 7 Apr


Sweet Child of Mine

By Colin Flaherty

Like most practitioners in the arts, Bron Batton’s parents don’t quite get what she actually does. Through a series of filmed interviews, performances and monologues by Bron and even live stand up spots by her Dad, James, Sweet Child of Mine explores the cultural and generational divide between Mr and Mrs Batten and one of their offspring.

A lot of the humour comes from the parent’s blunt but honest responses to the questions Bron poses to them about the art world. This raises the question of whether the comedic premise of this performance is focused on the artistic naïvety of the older generation or the pretentiousness of the performing arts. It could depend on the audience watching it; an arty Fringe Festival crowd could lean towards the former while a general Comedy Festival audience could see the latter. It walks this fine line constantly but all can agree that having a loving and supportive family is the point of this show.

The dance pieces that Bron performs for us are executed seriously. Humorous costuming (she performs most of the show dressed in her underwear and dons some elaborately amusing outfits) keep it from being too much like a dour modern dance show. She does a good job of giving us a taste of the dance pieces that are referred to in the interviews but curiously, they don’t always match the conversations chronologically.

Bron does a serviceable job in making her monologues amusing. Her anecdotes about her family’s history and her artistic endeavours contain enough funny details to elicit some laughs of recognition.

A roleplaying exercise involving an audience volunteer speaking with Bron’s mother via telephone is an attempt to tug at the heartstrings. Only hearing one side of the conversation is disappointing and robs this scene of its power.

James threatens to steal the show whenever he is on stage or screen. Flirting with his demure wife of 40+ years is so charmingly cheeky. He tells adorable Dad Jokes, pokes fun at Bron’s lifestyle and bravely goes off script to his daughter’s horror. He seems to be really enjoying touring this show with his daughter.

A bold and ambitious endeavour, Sweet Child of Mine has been garnering acclaim at various Fringe Festivals but it is still geared towards dramatic performance rather than a comedic one. Nonetheless it has enough warmth to keep you smiling.


5 Good Reasons to See Dave Thornton, AUNTY DONNA AND THE FAX MACHINE SHOP, Bron Batten and her parents

5 good reasons to see DAVE THORNTON – Tall & Pointy 

1.)  No ads. I won’t ask you to skip ads after 5 seconds, how to find singles in your area or ask if you want to advertise your page on Facebook.

2.)  I may or may not be using the phrase ‘Unicorn spaff’ That will be worth the price of admission alone.

3.)  It will make your hair thicker and most lustrous. No wait, that’s salon level shampoo isn’t it?

4.)  I’ll be using a microphone. Have you seen these things? I don’t need to yell and you will all be able to hear without cupping your ear. The 21st century truly is amazing.

5.)  I won’t be using fusion words. You know words like chillax or amazeballs. I don’t want to make a frenemy out of you. Crap, ok I got that one out of system but I’m done now.

Dave Thornton – Tall & Pointy is on at the Banquet Room, Victoria Hotel for the duration of the festival



1) The following four points will be presented in Japanese Haikus

2) A Warm Spring Morning,
Rice Farmer Begins His Day,
The Sun Warms his Soul.

3) The Coy Pond is Full
The Coy Pond, Splashing with Light,
What Joy the Coy Have.

4) The Young Labourer
Rides to His Workplace, Sunrise.
The Boy Learns Ethic.

5) She Kneels to Master,
He Takes Her By the Warm Hand,
Pride In Her Soul.

AUNTY DONNA AND THE FAX MACHINE SHOP is on at the Portland Hotel except for on Mondays when it will be at the Melbourne Town Hall.


5 Good Reasons to See Bron Batten and her parents in Sweet Child of Mine

1. It features Bron Batten and her parents- live onstage!

2. The Sydney Morning Herald called it ‘Excruciating and hilarious…’ (in a good way)

3. Her Dad tells awesome Dad jokes

4. It won the award for Best Experimental Performance at the 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival

5. It’s funny and also arty (in a good way)

Sweet Child of Mine is on at 7pm at The Northcote Town Hall, 4th-12th of april