The play is set in the Melbourne telephone exchange in 1952. It charts two distinctive narrative lines. The first examines the resonance of image as it travels through the psyche of the main character. The second follows the effect and associations of image for all four characters, focussed through the themes of loss and desire.
Part 1 is unconventional in form and takes place in three Areas. In Area 1, we witness the characters as they travel to work and their 'interior' selves. Area 2, set in the foyer to the Postmaster General's Building, is where the audience is seated. The characters move through the audience and we witness their public personas. Area 3 is set at the working station at the telephone exchange. As the characters talk to each other we witness how they would like to be seen.
The plot revolves around a moment of betrayal for the main character, a moment when the world as she knows it falls apart.
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Female | Unspecified | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 33
EXTRACT: then you are the river, then you are walking with me and your feet are printed on the dryness like mine. you realise you're walking on a river bed of bones, hidden in the deep, achingly dryand uncovered. you can hear the moaning of the dead, and I can hear your soft breathing. nothing is said except you tip your hat in my direction, you see my mother hanging by the neck, and suddenly the day is so bright there are no shadows
"It was midnight nine years ago in a dark Melbourne alley when the idea struck playwright-producer Samantha Bews..."
"...the Telephone Exchange looks at images in the imagination, described as dream, reality, heightened reality and fantasy."