Hippo World Guest Book
This article is from 2007.
The internet has indeed made the world a smaller place but arguably that little bit more bilious too. As anyone who has spent even a moment on a forum or blog will be aware, faceless interaction can often serve as a Petri dish for the most vile human behaviour; if no one knows who you are, you can say things you would normally get a slap for to your heart’s content. Fringe First winner Chris Goode’s new play Hippo World Guest Book charts the surprisingly busy activity on a real life online forum for devotees of the Hippopotamus, a site he monitored and drew material from for several years. Innocent its topic may be, but soon after its administrator abandoned the site it descended into a hive of casual racism, homophobia and, for the few that seem to appreciate the hippo form that little too much, offers of swinging inter-species sex. Both Goode’s selection and delivery do justice to a novel concept that could easily have become dreary. HWGB is worth seeing even just for the documentary evidence of possibly one of the weirdest groups to grace the never endingly weird world wide web.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 8, 15), 2.40pm, £9–£8 (£8–£7) .