Hotter

Hotter is a stellar exploration of the body, intimacy and what makes all of us feel hot. Ell Potter and Mary Higgins, a genius duo, have devised a hilarious and heartbreaking production that isn’t afraid to tackle subjects considered taboo in some circles.

The show isn’t just about the actors on the stage – it’s about all of us, and what we have in common, and what makes us different.

The show opens with Potter and Higgins lounging leisurely against a pole center stage in a sunglass’d tableau. Both are still, covered in flouncy, fluffy and dance-ready apparel. The first row of seats is a bunch of comfy pillows on the stage, letting the audience know early on that they are a part of this. Because the show isn’t just about the actors on the stage – it’s about all of us, and what we have in common, and what makes us different.

The backbone of the piece is a number of audio recordings of Potter and Higgins interviewing people about what “hot” means. The subjects come from a variety of backgrounds, from old to young and trans to cis. Because we only hear these people’s voices, we begin to understand their identities as their answers to questions get more complex and tangled in their own experiences. Their voices are played over the speaker system, as Potter and Higgins mime the various interview questions for us to watch. They quite literally give voice to marginalized peoples. And by using the exact recordings from each interview, there isn’t a fear of co-option or editing. In a touching scene near the end of the show, the performers spin in identical circles, naming each of the people that they interviewed, chanting like a prayer, and then the performers respond to some of the interviewees with their own personal stories.

Throughout the performance, the actors used dance to amplify the moods and tones of different recordings. It was at these moments that the play became a beautiful and earnest celebration of the performers themselves and the friendship between them. They licked each other’s sweat, danced in sync and masturbated over their own sweatpants, forgetting the audience for a moment. These fun moments were beautifully woven between the sometimes somber recordings, creating an overall tone of empowerment.

Without giving anything away, the show ends with a cathartic exercise that leaves the room both breathless and reflective, but also excited for what’s ahead, not just for themselves, but for Potter and Higgins as well.

Reviews by Blair Simmons

Paradise in Augustines

Hotter

★★★★★
Laughing Horse @ Espionage

Laugh Train Home Comedy Showcase

★★★
Summerhall

Arm – Mireille & Mathieu

★★★
C venues – C royale

Dates

★★★
Summerhall

Eggsistentialism

★★★★
Summerhall

Eaten

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

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.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

‘People are more fixated on flesh than ever before in history’ (Ann, 97). 'What gets you hot?' Hotter has asked everyone, from grannies to drag artists. Joined by the voices of women and non-binary people interviewed around the country, including Ann, we are two women embarking on a battle against embarrassment. Using sketch theatre, song and dance, Hotter is a show about blushing, sweating, pinkness and pleasure. Be prepared to boogie. Be prepared to sweat. Praise for the team: ‘a unique and unforgettable tapestry of the feminine experience... unmissable’ (Cherwell).

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