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Review: Hotline

Review: Hotline

Review: Hotline cover photo on Stagedoor
Ever wanted to have a chat with the moon?

Well, here’s your chance with Hotline, a collaboration between the Tron Theatre, Produced Moon and artists Meghan Tyler and Nima Sene. Available via the Tron website for free, it takes its inspiration from Richard Nixon’s phone call from the White House with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, and—like so much theatre at the moment—comes in a choose your own adventure format. It means that if you call more than once and make different choices your experience should never be the same.

Like the original moon landings themselves this is an ambitious project, and one that offers an entirely different trajectory to the narrative around space travel and the first lunar landings with which we are so familiar. As you might expect about a piece that takes you on a journey to talk to the moon it is touched by both the absurd and whimsy. There is a 1960s cocktail lounge vibe and the chance to fall into black holes.

But it also neatly uncovers some of the hidden histories of space exploration, the stories we less often hear about the women, particularly black women, involved in space exploration. It is a piece that keeps asking the question of what might have been and which points to the way that sexism and racism extend even into space itself.

I definitely admire the intent and its curious spirit, but the execution often leaves something to be desired. It goes on for far too long, the sound quality isn’t great, and while the piece has segments of interest it sometimes feels quite random as if it never quite stitches together in a satisfying whole. I found out plenty of things I didn’t know, but the overall effect is of too much information and not enough reflection, feeling or indeed drama.

The Hotline is open until Sat 6 March. You can register and find details here.

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Written by

Lyn Gardner

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