I Bought a Flip Phone by Panos Kandunias is a touching and humorous look at how people communicate in the modern world. While we are connected to everyone, everywhere, all at once, we might not actually be communicating at all.

The gist of the story is that Charlie, played by Panos, is suffering from information overload. Social media is telling him what sort of life he should be leading. It is not the one he is currently stuck with. In an attempt to get some control back, he ditches his smartphone and gets an old-school flip phone. No Google, no apps and no doomscrolling. The show proceeds as a monologue, occasionally interrupted by the chirp of texts and phone calls. His mum phones him a lot as she is worried about him.

His birthday is coming up and he is trying to organize a party. He is losing touch with his best friend but hoping to hear from a potential date he actually met I.R.L. So much of what we do these days revolves around our phones that sometimes we forget how people used to do it. The show does a good job of highlighting these issues and poking fun at them. It is also quite poignant, as at one point he is messaging his mum and she leaves him hanging on typing. We have to guess what goes unsaid.

As a grumpy old Gen Xer, it was a fascinating insight into how people live their lives these days. As I watch Millennials endlessly scrolling through Instagram (and especially TikTok), I wonder if this is what Steve Jobs had in mind when the first iPhone launched.

The show has previously run at the Pen Theatre in London and is on at the BN1 Arts Centre on the 24th and 25 of May. It is part of the Brighton Fringe.

Small print: I did get a complimentary ticket.

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