Phone Whore: A One Act Play With Frequent Interruptions

If you wander the streets of the Edinburgh Fringe, you might run into Cameryn Moore. She sets up in various outdoor locations with an old fashioned typewriter and promises to write you bespoke smut on demand. If you don't want to wait to happen upon her, you could also go and see her show, which is a frank and compassionate insight into her work as a phone sex worker.

This is an intelligent show which gives audiences the chance to see into a world which is, for most people, a closed book.

For the duration of the show, we are invited to spend an hour with the character late at night, while she is on call. She chats to the audience about her work, and how she feels about it, and is occasionally interrupted by clients who call with a diverse range of fantasies, from the 'vanilla' calls (fairly straightforward sex fantasies), to some much more edgy material.

While the show certainly covers some very shocking material, Moore never makes it feel gratuitous. She takes things exactly as far as she needs to in order to make her point, but no further. And it's clear she could go a lot further. She is very clear that she respects her clients, and expects us to have the courtesy not to judge them. Her selection of material shows that she is also unwilling to allow us to sensationalise them.

There are a few dropped balls. One of the real strengths of the show is that, for the most part, the script is invisible because Moore's delivery is so naturalistic. The downside of this is that at the few points where she does look like she is acting, rather than simply being the character, it is very conspicuous. These moments are usually when she delivers a straightforward political message. The danger here is that the show might start to feel like a sermon, but thankfully this is avoided. The politics is always squarely grounded in the context of a particular anecdote, so it doesn't grate.

In all, this is an intelligent show which gives audiences the chance to see into a world which is, for most people, a closed book. It's also an important show, and if the politics does occasionally stand out too much, at least you can console yourself that the message is one that matters.

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Truth and taboo collide in this intimate visit with a phone sex operator. Listen closely: she may change your views on sex forever. ****½ (Times Colonist, Victoria). ****(FringeReview.co.uk). ‘Incredibly brutal, piercing, and thought-provoking’ (ThreeWeeks). ‘By far the most intimate and insightful theatre experience you're likely to have’ (RoverArts.com). ‘A series of anecdotes that add up to a powerful whole... begins with wholehearted laughter but closes to stunned silence’ (Fast Forward). Best Female Solo, San Francisco Fringe. Critics' Choice, Houston Fringe. Pick of the Fringe, Victoria Fringe.

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