Presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, BABECITY Hotline is inspired by lived experiences in sex work within the creative team, so it is disappointing to see how undefined the characters are, and part of this is because the show is trying to cover too much in too short a time. Introducing six characters in a 50-minute show is a difficult task and the result here is that we don't get to know these people. It's also unclear why the writers chose to go down the path they did with a fiery moment that does nothing to progress anyone’s arc or leave any impact.
The snippets in which we see the workers going about their day responding to, and engaging with their clients, entertainingly give an insight into their work, but they are repeated too many times and go on for too long. We get a great understanding of this from the opening scene so it would be beneficial to use the remaining time to flesh out these workers.
The set and costume are well designed for the space they have to work with. Having everyone dressed in different shades of pink gives off a playful and naive mood, but we quickly learn that these people are all in control of their lives and are fully consenting to the career they have chosen. It's interesting to see the new girl Jane, walk in with a beige outfit and gradually have pink items from the rest of the workers given to her, as she begins to "join the family".
BABECITY Hotline has potential and its exploration of phone sex workers is something that is rarely seen on stage or discussed. The creative team clearly have a lot of stories they want to tell but if they focus on one or two of these, it will be a far more rewarding experience for everyone involved.Show Details
Venue: Trades Hall, Cnr Lygon and Victoria Sts, Carlton.
Season: until 14 October | Tues - Fri 10:30pm
Duration: 50 minutes
Tickets: $18 - $24.50 Full | $20 Concession
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival