Theatrical device? The actors who want your mobile phone to go off in the auditorium

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Audiences will be reminded to leave their mobile phones on at a new play at Pulse Fringe Festival in Ipswich on Monday.

And if they ring out during it they will be actively encouraged to take the call. I Wish I Was Lonely by Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe (whose hit show The Oh Fuck Moment invited audiences to share their most embarrassing mistakes with the room) explores what it means to be always available and why we can’t switch off.

“It’s about how these devices interrupt our thoughts and have destroyed our ability to be usefully lonely,” says Thorpe. “It’s so easy to scratch the itch of being alone now. And we don’t get to the end of our thoughts anymore.”

The show which is previewing at Ipswich’s New Wolsey Studio before a full run at the Forest Fringe in Edinburgh in August, will explore how mobile phones have changed our lives and, perhaps even the course of history, using poems and stories. “What if Rosa Parks had tweeted that she did not want to give up her seat on the bus, instead of actually refusing to give up her seat? That event might never have happened if we had the connectivity we have now” says Thorpe.

The rest of the show will take its cue from the audience themselves, who will be asked to interact using their devices, taking calls from the performers and responding to their own messages.

“With 40 people in a room for over an hour, it’s statistically very likely someone will get a call. We’re planning for these distractions but it can be quite frustrating when they come right in the middle of one of our poems”, says Thorpe. “We can’t force people to take a call in front of us. But it’s an interesting question – why are you happy to be overheard on the bus or in the street but not in the theatre?” Answers in a text, please.

Stand-ups stage a mentoring coup

In 2011, as a response to the student riots, comedian Josie Long and activist Neil Griffiths set up the Arts Emergency Service, an “Alternative Old Boys’ Network” of creative professionals to mentor and support students without connections.

The charity will launch later this month on 20 June with a benefit gig at London’s Hackney Empire. Long’s comedy colleagues Jimmy Carr, Isy Suttie, Tim Key and Kevin Eldon will star alongside passionate poet Kate Tempest and Submarine writer Joe Dunthorne among others.

Patron of the charity Stewart Lee is unable to attend but will instead give away a piece of “publicly funded art” to every audience member. Jake Chapman, a fellow patron, is also on the bill. “He’s requested a big screen, a band playing ‘Anarchy in the UK’ and a choir but we’re not sure what he is going to do with them yet. Or if Dinos will come too”, says Griffiths. 

http://ind.pn/14amPzP

Also in the Arts Diary

Frock show: Major Laura Ashley retrospective to open at Bath Fashion Museum

Inside: Edinburgh Fringe to showcase timely new drama inspired by Natascha Kampusch, Elisabeth Fritzl and Jaycee Lee Dugard

@AlicevJones

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace