It was equal parts considered and spontaneous, an endearing journey through cyber terrains arriving safely at a familiar digital destination. I dialled “Hitcher Encounters” at 9:30am on a Thursday morning without any expectations or preparation. I was welcomed by a friendly anonymous voice, inviting me to choose between different countries for an adventure into the unknown — I opted for uncharted waters in Mexico, finding myself in Alex’s story. It was Autumn, 3 hours before sunset, and my car had been stolen (hate it when that happens). My encounter was at once peaceful and compelling — I made my own choices and made my way through half an hour of conversation with unnamed company.
We really are all strangers at the end of the day — as I was listening to week 4 of the audio clips I had a window into other distant realms beyond the UK border. “La Bufanda Roja” introduced another language and dialect, tying together travel and closing distances between people, cities, and spaces. I’ve seen a fair few shows in my time, with this Brighton Fringe boasting a wide variety of digital, in-person, and now… live call-in experiences, but Hitcher Encounters has a particularly unique approach to insightful theatre and immersive entertainment, and in turn is bridging a gap between people, isolation, and the thing we’ve all been yearning for — connection.