The Telephone

From Matthew Monaghan:

The Telephone is a hopeful work about the capacity of human beings to be in relationships with each other. Ben fancies Lucy but Lucy is hopelessly distracted. Lucy exists in a perpetual state of confusion: engaging in meaningless telephone calls that perpetuate her loneliness. Like the constant barrage of information we face in the world around us, Lucy is caught in a vortex. I have chosen to set the production in a toy shop: a metaphor for the infantilising effect that modern communication can have on our relationships and the mist it can create around who we truly are and who we want to be. Lucy, escaped from a hospital, finds herself in this shop and thinks that she is engaging in a series of phone calls with imaginary friends. Ben, her trusted friend, rescues her. It ends with tentative hope for the future.

Written in 1947, but more relevant than ever, Menotti’s The Telephone is the story of two lovers. Ben wants to propose, but Lucy will not put down her phone, instead engaging in a meaningless series of calls which perpetuate her loneliness. Will he get a word in edgeways?