Phone Whore (A One Act Play With Frequent Interruptions)

Phone Whore is a show that is equal parts witty, sexually frank and dripping with cynicism. A thought-provoking and sometimes harrowing journey into the often-silenced and ignored world of sex work and sexual fantasy, the show packs an incredible punch whilst still being able to deliver a nuanced and thoughtful take on sex and those who work in it.

Phone Whore is a show that is equal parts witty, sexually frank and dripping with cynicism.

The one act play sees the eponymous phone sex operator, played by writer Cameryn Moore, discussing with the audience her work helping various clients live out their fantasies, whilst frequently being interrupted by said clients. The structure of the play is ingenious, starting relatively light and breezy with Moore establishing the basics of her profession, but soon descends into much darker subject matter as the nature of her calls become more and more taboo. Moore herself is the centrepiece of the show, giving an incredible performance that grips the audience from the get go. Despite being a monologue, the show never seems one-sided, as it engages the audience and makes them feel a part of the discussion. Moore acts with a charisma and a charm that make her descriptions of bringing strange men to orgasm seem as normal as dealing with a particular bothersome customer in a coffee shop.

The play’s greatest asset is the frankness in which it deals with its subject matter. This is not a show for the faint-hearted or anyone not comfortable with discussing sex, as Moore does not in any way censor her sessions with her clients, playing them with graphic commitment to authenticity. Yet underneath we never quite escape the grim realities of sex work. As a no-taboo phone operator she must deal with sexual fantasies that range from merely kinky to gut-wrenchingly disturbing, while the confined nature of the job makes the small venue location suitably claustrophobic.

The script itself is pitch-perfect, interrupting her conversations with the audience in the same way her work encroaches into her life day-by-day, whilst still being surprisingly tender in its treatment of the men who solicit her services. The play makes a rather poignant statement on the nature of sexual desire and fantasy, asking what the dividing line is between thought and action really is. With all of this in mind, I can say this show is incredibly brave in creating a space where literally no activity is taboo and everything is up for discussion. Cameryn Moore deserves every accolade going for producing one of the most innovative, exciting and truly liberating pieces of theatre you will see at the festival this year. Go and seek out Phone Whore if you’re brave enough; I could not recommend this show enough.

Reviews by Joseph McAulay

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Truth and taboo collide in this intimate visit with a phone sex operator. Sit back and buckle up. **** (BroadwayBaby.com). ****1/2 (Times Colonist, Canada). Best Female Solo, San Francisco Fringe, 2010. Critics' Choice, Houston Fringe, 2013. Pick of the Fringe, Victoria Fringe, 2011. ‘Incredibly brutal, piercing, and thought-provoking’ (ThreeWeeks). ‘…captivating to watch, with as much energy as a spring tornado.’ (Spectator). ‘…by far the most intimate and insightful theatre experience you're likely to have’ (RoverArts.com). Look also for Cameryn's slut (r)evolution and Smut Slam Cabaret!