Opposition (2011)

A ‘one woman embodiment of a political system in meltdown’ written and performed by Hannah Silva. Toured 2011-2012


Ever watched a politician answer a question that left you none the wiser? Have you seen them give the same non-answer over and over 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.

Audiences become delegates at a party conference with a difference. Blair’s bluster gets busted, Churchill butts in on Obama and 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 that will make you question your right to free speech.


Radical, political, courageous… Go to listen, marvel, participate. Go to be amazed. Just go. (What’s on Stage ★★★★★)

This whirlwind of humanity explodes onto the stage with striking force and energy… Captures the essence of what’s going on around us right now. (Highly Recommended Show, Fringe Review ★★★★)

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 Magazine ★★★★)

As her words are flung, so is her body. For this is also a brilliantly choreographed piece of physical theatre. Silva mimics (and inflate to extreme levels) the politician’s body language, transforming it into a mechanised, clownish vocabulary of gesture. Opposition is bizarre, clever and totally unique. Vote with your feet, and go see it now. (Hand and Star ★★★★)

With astounding vocal dexterity, razor-sharp insight and a huge dose of playfulness, she defamiliarizes the words and phrases that daily bombard us via the media, in the process  creating a glorious ‘cut-up’ opera of epic proportions.   – it’s a linguistic, lyrical collage that utterly mesmerizes. (Devon Life)

A wired, slippery and brilliantly insightful performance, in which Silva not only explores but embodies the idea of political double speak. (Miriam Gillinson, Sketches on Theatre)

Audience feedback

Immaculately choreographed and brilliantly performed.

Hannah Silva was captivating throughout.

Political theatre at its best, funny and relevant!

Proud to be a part of Hannah Silva’s Opposition’ (Saveourforests – on Twitter)

It was great to have crowd participation…breaking the fourth wall, the surreal nature of the performance worked.

Loved it, very, very skilled performance, Hannah has a fabulous stage presence, brilliant piece, would not be out of place as a TV stand up show!

Feels like I’ve waited an age for a piece that used contemporary political and Big Society jargon as its referent.

Performance history

11 Mar 2011: Barbican Theatre Plymouth
28-29 Jun 2011: Bike Shed Theatre Exeter, Exeter Fringe
14-28 Aug 2011: ZOO Southside, Edinburgh Festival Fringe
16 Feb 2012: ARC Stockton on Tees
21 Feb 2012: Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple
24 Feb 2012: The Albany, London
3 May 2012: Lincoln Drill Hall
8 Jun 2012: New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich: Pulse Festival
30 Jun 2012: Ashley Wood Festival , Wiltshire
18-19 Oct 2012: Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre, Taunton
6-17 Nov 2012: Ovalhouse, London


Opposition  was originally co-produced with The Barbican Theatre in Plymouth through ‘Flourish’. It was re-developed in Residence at Dartington Space with support from the Dartington Hall Trust. In association with Apples and Snakes. Funded by the Arts Council England and the Arts Unit, Plymouth City Council.