Review: Call Girls @ Adelaide Fringe 2024

'Call Girls'
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

‘Call Girls’ is a unique and heartwarming theatre-comedy out of Brisbane, surrounding the personal and work lives of the two main characters, Alexis and Ella (played writer-producers Lauren Harvey and Kelly Hodge), who work in a call centre for the Department Of Roads.

It is reminiscent of a theatre version of office comedies such as ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks And Recreation’, all performed from a minimalist single-room set. The writers do an excellent job of creating the illusion of different spaces, with just dialogue and lighting, and painting a distinct, satirical picture of the broader office environment.

The two characters are well-developed, believable and likeable, albeit flawed. Their personalities complement and contrast with each other (Ella, a hard-working perfectionist with an interest in coral science, and Alexis, a cool, fun-loving gamer). The ‘customer calls’ are written in such a way that it seems like they could’ve been taken from real life. It feels like you can hear the person on the end of the call, even though it is just Ella and Alexis speaking throughout the play. The dialogue is snappy, and filled with clever one-liners, and the performers have brilliant comic-timing.


Many millennial workers will no doubt find the show relatable, especially those who have worked in a call centre, or been overworked and inundated by angry and often inappropriate customer calls.

For others, the piece may be eye-opening. However, the writers manage to create an entertaining and frankly hilarious show out of what is likely a stark, dispiriting situation. In particular, the close friendship between Ella and Alexis appears as a life raft for the two of them in the call centre. The development of a rift between them over differing life goals captures the audience attention and takes us along for the ride, as we watch them grow as characters.

The actors also do a great job of building suspense, and the pacing of the story is well-done. The show also includes a well-timed and choreographed dance routine that will make audiences laugh out loud (as they did many times throughout the play).


Lighting is used effectively to create shifts in mood and setting, and takes the audience out of the concrete space into the minds of the characters. While it is not a high-budget show, it reminds us that the most important thing is a well-written script and stellar performances, which it definitely has!

Overall this is an insightful, well-crafted and uplifting piece of theatre, which may inspire audiences to create some more joy in the world around them. It also reminds us of the power of friendship (especially female friendship) to get through life in these changing and challenging times.

Words: Jade Manson

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