Ever thought about the opinions, advise or demands you’ve heard, read or have been raised to believe? Have you ever just wanted to have your moment to express those opinions to others? Inspired by Tim Etchells’ Sight is the Sense, Emma Hall has created a one-woman show that allows her to express 621 traditional and often times trivial opinions in 45 minute, testing the idea of what it is to speak one’s mind.
Standing in front of a simple stage setting and accompanied with scattered, subtle soundscape music, Hall’s stream-of-consciousness addresses an array of topics: from simple facts like the grass always seems greener on the other side, to the “should”, “need”, and “it is important” opinions that feel more like demands. Nonetheless, show in general appears to be a conversation with the audience, yet treated as if it were between two best friends, contemplating which words of advice are more important than the other. As Hall’s show concludes, we may just have to choose.
It is difficult to assess if Hall’s words are actually opinions, or are they demands, words of advice or social beliefs dictated to maintain a civilised society. This self-contemplation is what makes the piece interesting and unique and able to cater to all audiences – it allows one person to have a single expressive moment without interruption. It also allows the audience to laugh at the silliness of common opinions, and reconsider their own thoughts.
After the show, I had the honour of sitting down with Hall to gain some insight into the development of this project. We May Have To Choose has appeared in Adelaide Fringe and Edinburgh generating critical success, and now comes to Melbourne for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. When asked why Hall decided to put this show into Melbourne Fringe, she simply answered with a smile across her face, “This is home. The audience in Melbourne seem to really like [the show]. Knowing that my support system is here I am more relaxed into the show now. Melbourne is not only my home town but it’s also where my heart is.” We May Have to Choose certainly brings forth a lot of heart. Do yourself a favour by showing your support to this wonderful independent artist and this terrific piece.
We May Have to Choose can be seen at the Fringe Hub/North Melbourne Townhall through 4th October. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.melbournefringe.com.au.