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Samantha’s Hotline

By Richard Oldale

Local resident Sophie Gatacre is bringing her show to the William IV. Richard Oldale writes ‘So convincing in her portrayal of a strict school teacher, the audience feel compelled to respond to her Gestapo-esque questioning as though they were naughty pupils.’

If the title doesn’t give it away, the first scene certainly does. Straddled across a reversed chair wearing a cowboy hat, Samantha seductively whispers like a Madame from the Wild West making innuendo’s such as “Do you want to put your gun in my holster?” Yes, Samantha’s hotline is a sex line.

Sophie Gatacre’s one woman show portrays a formerly affluent housewife trying to earn money now she is no longer being supported by her adulterous husband. Drinking heavily between and during calls to and from all and sundry, Samantha teases the audience with her, sometimes hilarious other times cringing, commentary of sexual euphemisms, adopting several saucy characters including cowgirl, girl being rescued by a fireman and a nun – for the clichéd Catholic Priest who is an apparent regular caller.

Though Gatacre thrusts a lot of energy into the character of Samantha, we never got a sense of who she really is. This was particularly evident in a phone call to a neighbour which contradicted itself at every corner. As a consequence there is confusion as to Samantha’s motivation, and alas, the play doesn’t recover by the time we reach the climax (quite literally) at the end.

At times the dialogue is very amusing and Gatacre’s best moments come through her interaction with the audience which she pulls off with the grace of a talented stand up comedian. So convincing in her portrayal of a strict school teacher, the audience feel compelled to respond to her Gestapo-esque questioning as though they were naughty pupils.

Samantha’s Hotline was credited with rave reviews from the Edinburgh Festival during the summer and will be performed at William IV in Kensal Green, London on  Tuesday 21st December 2010.

See related listing here.

This article was first published in http://www.londonfestivalfringe.com

http://www.londonfestivalfringe.com/general/blogpost/?p=4930

http://www.samanthashotline.com/

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