Coney’s entrancing combination of storytelling and shared conversation celebrates the history of telecommunications
The range of theatrical experiences emerging online is truly impressive. So far, I’ve tracked down a missing woman, been pulled into a whistleblower’s shady investigations and summoned up storms alongside a Shakespearean spirit. But Coney’s latest show, Telephone, is in a whole new genre: an entrancingly low-key combination of storytelling and shared conversation which explores – and marvels at – the history of telecommunications.
Artistic director Tassos Stevens begins the show by inviting us to the Coney Bar, where we’re encouraged to do a bit of “chair dancing” as music tinkles in the background. After a few gentle smiles and wiggles, Stevens produces a washcloth and asks us to imagine the theatre curtain rising. From then, Stevens still sits at his desk chair yet the atmosphere feels different. The collective will of imagination – and shared effort of communication – is beginning to work its magic.