Review: HOTLINE, Tron Theatre
4.0Overall Score

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Have you ever thought about calling the moon? HOTLINE invites you to do just that. The interactive play is experienced through your telephone and offers a range of space adventures to go on as the earthling Buttons.

HOTLINE was commissioned by Tron Theatre and devised by Produced Moon, Meghan Tyler, and Nima Séne. It is inspired by the historic phone call Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made to the White House during the moon landing and explores our relationship with outer space.

Signing up on the website gives you access to a number that is free to call. As soon as you are connected to your space host Oxmo (Hannah Jarrett-Scott), the adventure begins. You can make your own choices as to which adventures to go on and which characters to speak to. Pressing the numbers on your keyboard has an impact on your own personal space adventure which makes every call a unique experience.

Whether you want to join the Loneliest Lonely Man Michael Collins on the dark side of the moon (and he is not an Irish revolutionary but the astronaut who flew around the moon to pick up his colleagues Buzz and Neil), or you are interested in discovering a black hole with the Almost Astronaut Ed Dwight, HOTLINE gives you the chance. Every now and then the journey gets interrupted by peculiar but innovative space ads selling you the whitest white or a space colony on Mars, and offer comic relief.

The play solely takes place on the phone and each decision you make impacts the direction of the story and determines whether you will be able to establish your call to the moon. Cass Ezeji, Alicia Matthews, Evan Ifekoya, Leonie Rae Gasson, and Melanie Frances are among the actors portraying space creatures as well as the hidden figures in space history. HOTLINE shines a light on all the forgotten people who played and still play an enormous part in the space race and our advancement into the solar system.

When calling up the free number, be prepared to be taken on an hour-long adventure into deep space and to embrace the strange encounters you might have when you fly too close to the sun. HOTLINE’s bizarreness can be irritating at times but behind every scenario is a deeper story. Not every scene in the play is as readily understood as the odd space fact that you learn while on your journey.

A mix between interactive play exploring space history and an experimental piece of theatre, HOTLINE – just like its main characters – doesn’t allow itself to be stopped by the social structures that exist in society. The range of adventures and characters, which are well researched and genuinely entertaining, present a lovely escape from everyday life as an earthling. Funded by the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, the free interactive phone play offers a fun, quirky and certainly insightful alternate reality.

HOTLINE is playing on your phone until 6 March. For more information and tickets visit Tron Theatre online.