We May Have To Choose is unlike anything else you’ll see at fringe this year. Warm, funny, and surprisingly ernest, I found myself immersed in Emma Hall’s experimental performance from the moment she entered the intimate, dimly lit space.
The show began in silence as she held up a series of white cards with writing on them. The mood was somber and serious, but quickly pierced by the sharp wit I would come to know well over the 45 minutes to follow. While we would hear many of Hall’s own opinions throughout the show, the first came from her mother and roommate. Her roommate called the show “experimental’. Her mother described it as “a show you need to see with two beers”. Hall came prepared and passed two beers to a couple of audience members. I guess mother knows best.
Still using her flashcards, she established a contract of sorts between her, the performer, and us, the audience. It was simple; she speaks, we listen. And thus begins her one-woman-show.
Hall’s monologue is quick and engaging. Sometimes repetitive, but never monotonous. When I laughed I laughed hard, but there were times when she forced me to reflect too. By mixing statements about politics, social issues, and climate change (“the planet is dying and we’re okay with that”) alongside ho-hum everyday musings (“bankers are not to be trusted”), Hall forced me to reflect on how simultaneously serious and mundane our everyday lives are.
In an overly opinionated world Hall’s performance stands out for being honest, clever, and remarkably gripping. And, if you’re after my opinion, you should grab tickets before they sell out. You can trust me; I’m not a banker.
– Emma Hardy
Emma is an avid reader, writer, and teller of tall tales. Her hobbies include petting dogs and sipping piña coladas; ideally at the same time.
We May Have To Choose is playing at the North Melbourne Town Hall until Saturday 3 October. The venue is wheelchair accessible.