Opposition – written and performed by Hannah Silva
Ever watched a politician answer a question that left you none the wiser? Ever seen them give identical answers to a completely different set of questions? Do you read newspapers and quietly wonder what on earth they are on about?
You’re not alone. Award-winning writer and performer Hannah Silva delivers her own manifesto that satirises the meaningless twaddle and jargon of modern political language.
The audience line up for name badges to become delegates at a party conference with a difference. Blair’s bluster gets busted, Churchill butts in on Obama and David Cameron’s Big Society gets sliced and diced with live twitter feeds, weather reports, rant and rhetoric in a fast-talking, funny, razor-sharp performance.
Opposition is a one-woman show that has earned Hannah five stars from What’s On Stage, where the work was described as ‘radical, political, courageous.’
“This is a virtuoso avant-garde performance of a virtuoso avant-garde text by a virtuoso avant-garde artist. Go to listen, marvel, participate. Go to be amazed. Just go.”
Her recent run at the Edinburgh Fringe also earned her four stars from Fringe Review, Exeunt, Hand and Star, The Skinny and Three Weeks.
Slogans and sayings that we have all heard but can’t quite pin down – ‘The Big Society’, ‘At our Best when at our Boldest’, all receive a delicious mauling. The show puts political grandstanding on a pedestal – and then shoots at it.
Hannah said: “I was frustrated with watching politicians speak and then being unable to explain what they had just said. This led me to investigate rhetoric – do I struggle to understand politicians through a lack of political knowledge…or is it because they’re not really saying anything? Is it all just claptrap?”
“I started looking at the language politicians used to conceal or convey meaning. This involved playing with political speeches, cutting them up and then putting them back together again – my way.”
“There’s a section where I improvise with live Twitter feeds. The question Twitter continually asks is: ‘What’s Happening?’ – that’s what I’m asking with this piece.”
The 50-minute performance is not just about the fun of unwrapping political packaging, it is also a routine of extraordinary vocal gymnastics; with Hannah tackling truly tongue-tying techniques, coupled with a canny use of a loop pedal and haunting tin whistle.
Plymouth-based Hannah, who was described by the Times as ‘one of the most ambitious and entertaining poets in the country’, performs internationally and has recently toured the country with Apples and Snakes. She is a regular at the London Word Festival, and has featured on Radio 3’s The Verb. She has a background in music, choreography and theatre and is currently writer-in-residence with the Arts Unit, Plymouth City Council.
Opposition is co-produced with The Barbican Theatre, Plymouth in association with Apples and Snakes. It was developed in Residence at Dartington Space with support from The Dartington Hall Trust. It is funded by the Arts Council England and the Arts Unit, Plymouth City Council.
Notes to editors
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Other review comments include:
“Opposition is bizarre, clever and totally unique. Vote with your feet and go and see it now.” **** Hand and Star
“A one-woman embodiment of a political system in meltdown.” **** The Skinny
“Silva’s not the first to pick and chip at political specifying, the hollowness of spin, but rarely has it been done with such vigour.” **** Exeunt
“This whirlwind of humanity explodes onto the stage with striking force and energy.”
Highly Recommended Show. **** Fringe Review
“It is a linguistic, lyrical collage that utterly mesmerizes … a mini masterpiece.” Devon Life
16 February, 19:45
ARC, Stockton on Tees
Tickets: 01642 525 199
21st February, 8pm
Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple
Tickets: 01271 324242
Lincoln Drill Hall, Lincoln
Tickets: 01522 873894
Ashley Wood Festival
Further tour dates: www.hannahsilva.wordpress.com
‘Yes there will be objections. But you know what? We’re happy about that’ David Cameron.