Review: An Alternative Helpline for the End of the World, Katrine Turner, Ed Fringe, By Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

When it comes to modernity and the end of the World, what is more appropriate in helping to handle this than a call centre?

In this 15 minute performance piece, you could be anywhere in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain, the World and be able to take part. All is needed is good signal and a place you can sit undisturbed for 15 minutes.

Katrine Turner calls you on your mobile. Her interaction is very professional, with that edge of personability that all call centre workers seem to have. They know you but they also don’t. You are felt at ease and, while there isn’t a sale to be made, there’s also some sort of separation from emotion yet a sense of everything being in hand.

You are given the usual notes that the call isn’t recorded and your details are not kept and then it begins. You are asked what concerns you the most about the end of the world – instantly you are made to think what this could be and you delve into a not yet existing turmoil. From this you are given multiple choices to choose from, to dig deeper, with other options coming to light that you may not have thought about. After a few questions, you are given some advice. For me, this was a poem that summed my concerns and how to take life as it is.

This is a unique and one off experience – it’s uncertain how to know how other experiences go or to feed off others but there’s something interesting and intimate about this. It is something only you can feed off and this can be risky and go either way. It can also be difficult to find the sort of space that feels appropriate, especially during the fringe. There’s little space to sit and immerse yourself and distractions a-plenty. Perhaps this gives room to grow this piece, maybe expanding it to a more site-specific performance in a phone booth or small area where you and the phone is all there is.

An Alternative Helpline for the End of the World is a unique and interesting accessible performance, not tying you down to anywhere to experience it. But this does slightly impede it, in its immersive aspect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get The Chance has a firm but friendly comments policy.