Oval House Theatre
(Originally published by What’s on Stage, Nov ’12)
Bish. Bash. Bosh. Not the words one usually hears in a political speech, but Hannah Silva combines gibberish with political rhetoric in her dynamic satire. From Churchill to Cameron, Silva dissects the words of orators past and present to show how meaning often sits like a haze amongst the embellished, eloquent expressions delivered by the political elite.
In this hour long production, the audience form a group of delegates and participation is mandatory (come prepared to chant), as Silva delivers her own manifesto with boundless energy. Dressed in a grey suit and pink tie, she plucks political speeches from the past and interjects them with jargon, buzz words, repetition and exaggerated movement.
Statistics and figures on the economy are delivered in the same tone and manner as the weather, and Twitter obscures meaning further. Silva’s delivery is unnatural and robotic. And as her words repeat on a loop in the background – much like a record caught on a single, unrelenting note – her sound becomes locked in a steadfast rhythm.
Written and performed by Silva, Opposition is a clever parody of political discourse, thrusting the audience into a world where words are plentiful, but meaning sparse. She creatively interweaves words, sound and movement to expose the loss of humanity in the very discourse that determines how we live.
The repetitive tone and delivery do at times become excessive. But amidst the convoluted, dressed up expressions and showmanship, there’s no doubt that Hannah Silva gets straight to the point: What exactly are they saying?