Do you have a minute to talk about sex doll rights? Because sex dolls should have equal rights too: sick days, overtime pay, child care, union representatives! There should be a dedicated help line for abused sex dolls. Please donate generously, or whatever you can.
Please hold asks difficult questions about the human nature.
Unfortunately, the only helpline the satirical comedy-horror show Please Hold offers is for the shady customers who have purchased a sex doll. They have all kinds of weird requests, reclamations and modifications in mind. Pubes or no pubes, submissive or dominating, skinny or curvy, blond or brunette? Perhaps a pregnancy pack – all tastes are catered for.
Modifications beyond the terms and conditions he has agreed to is exactly what Marshall is after in order to build his ideal woman, a hyper-feminine and hyper-sexual Precious. But somewhere in Precious’ altered circuits consciousness emerges. And the sentient Precious isn’t content with the role Marshall has planned for her, no sir. She gets broody, moody and needy, all at once. What’s worse, Precious refuses to go into sleep mode and learns to wake herself up. The final straw is when Precious develops fear of death, the ultimate shutdown. How will Marshall handle his sex doll turned unhappy wife?
The relationship between man and machine, usually an attractive female, has been explored in numerous films from the 1927 masterpiece Metropolis to Blade Runner and more current films like the Terminator saga and Ex Machina. But sex dolls aren’t just science fiction, they are a real global phenomenon. Sex doll hotels exist everywhere form Russia to China and all around Europe. UK’s first sex doll hotel opened in 2018 in Greenwich of all places. Clearly there is a demand for adult doll play dates.
Please Hold takes on the subject with catchy original songs and numerous sex gags, as expected. The underlying critique of man's desire and the objectification of women's bodies is dealt with a light touch, which is a blessing since the show manages to avoid the usual moral preaching. There are no props, everything is relayed with the actors’ bodies. No need to make it more complicated.
A Company of Six is a young theatre group focusing on feminist themes and queer representation. Victoria Mazeris plays the perfect life-size Barbie doll Precious. Tarik Badwan is as dislikeable Marshall as you can expect. The three sex line workers Cherry, Honey and Ruby are the most annoying know-it-all helpline workers you’re ever going to meet, played brilliantly by Shannon Noble, Nickey van Tooren and Jade Radley. The best performances of the night goes to Luke Rogers, who plays all male help line callers with their nasty requests.
In this play there are just two types of men: sexual predators and losers, who see sex dolls as their only option for intimacy. Please Hold asks difficult questions about the human nature. It also references another classic tale of Frankenstein and his monster. Who is the real monster and what does that tell us about the society that builds monsters?