Theatre review: We May Have to Choose
Theatre review: We May Have to Choose

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: We May Have to Choose, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock ★★★★ Are you ready for some truth? Australian writer and performer Emma Hall has some for us. Or a version of it. Or something which she may not believe but which she says anyway. Six hundred and twenty-one lines …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: We May Have to Choose, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock

★★★★

Are you ready for some truth? Australian writer and performer Emma Hall has some for us. Or a version of it. Or something which she may not believe but which she says anyway. Six hundred and twenty-one lines of truth, to be precise, which she delivers one after the other as blunt statements to her audience.

It might sounds like nonsense to some, it might sound intriguing to others, but there’s little doubt that this is a show which deserves a bit of tracking down. Its running in a free comedy venue off the Cowgate, a somewhat inappropriate setting for such an esoteric and considered piece.

No doubt the show felt more at home when it appeared at Forest Fringe for a couple of days earlier in August. Ignoring the awkward sightlines caused by a pillar in the centre of the venue, Hall is commanding of her space. Her tone is conversational: by turns reassuring, concerned, annoyed. That’s part of the beauty of this show. The pacing and intonation of her words is wonderfully precise, so much so that it feels like the audience is in a two-way discussion, even though what’s she’s saying is potentially as banal as a shopping list.

English people know more about romance. Being good at spelling is not an indication of future success. It’s wrong to flirt in front of your husband. It’s wrong to break your wife’s arm.

Sometimes life isn’t worth living. The right reason is something you’re unlikely to recognise at the time. Immigration improves our cultural life and conservative approval ratings.

Are these facts? Opinions? Or just a mish-mash parody of our bullet point 21st century dialogue? “I don’t know if telling the truth is better than telling a story,” says Hall, and nor do we. But at least we’re thinking about it now.

Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Venue 185), run ended

Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015

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