BWW Reviews: OPPOSITION, Ovalhouse Theatre, November 8 2012


BWW Reviews: OPPOSITION, Ovalhouse Theatre, November 8 2012


Opposition (performed by Hannah Silva at the Ovalhouse Theatre until 17 November) is a whirlwind of speech (morphing into incantation), music, movement, soundscapes and visuals that relentlessly exposes the vapidity of political discourse through repetition of its catchphrases, famous and not so famous.


Though hardly a new subject, the disorientation a "civilian" individual feels caught up in political conflicts in the age of 24-hour news channels and Twitter (plugged into mobile devices that are (almost) never switched off), has become pervasive in recent years. That sense of drowning immersion is something that Hannah Silva ratchets up even further over 50 minutes of intense performance (and intense watching too). To break the avalanche of words, there's a bit of audience participation - early panto, if you will - but even that serves only to underline that the politician is in charge and we are merely their puppets, chanting along for their benefit, not ours.


Opposition is very much at the performance art end of theatre, forgoing narrative in favour of building a mosaic of meaning (indeed, non-meaning) and getting laughs not from punchlines, but from lines that punch, over and over again, our senses. As Hannah often exclaims, it's "Claptrap!" But that's not our fault - it's theirs. 

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Gary Naylor Gary Naylor is chief reviewer for and feels privileged to see so much of London's theatre.

He writes about cricket at and also for The Guardian, Spin Cricket and Channel Five and commentates at His writing on films and other subjects is at

Comments are always welcome.


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