Emma Mary Hall remembers a lot. She remembers 9/11 and the first funeral on Mars. She also remembers when George Clooney died and the birthday cakes she's eaten. In World Problems, Hall shares her memories - some factual, some probable, some pure fiction - with us while also expressing what it is like to live in this world and how all our actions are interconnected with something much bigger than us.
By exposing her vulnerability to the audience through her memories, Hall creates an intimacy that grows with every passing minute. The accomplished way she makes us believe in everything she is saying is testament to the stage presence that Hall possesses. She presents to us as a figure of authority but also as a person having a casual chat with a friend. Her jumping of memories between time and space elicits a very emotional and personal response to a global issue.
Fleur Dean's set design of various pieces of large metal pieces laid out hint at a desolate apocalyptic environment. While she begins recalling her memories, Hall simultaneously works at joining the pieces together. She is building something but what that is is unclear and while we get drawn into what she is saying, we also get drawn into what she is doing. At times she asks help from the audience when she can't slide a piece into place; she can't do it alone. Rachel Lee's lighting design builds up to an inspired climax, wholly supporting Hall's words and intention with this work.
There's a simple complexity to World Problems that allows the audience to consider how their actions are impacting on the world. Hall asks us to think about other life on this planet than just our own, and even then, more than just human life. World Problems isn't only a show for humans. This is a show for every living thing on this planet. More importantly, World Problems is show about bringing every living thing together and working on keeping us all alive.
Venue: fortyfive downstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: Until 24 March | Tue- Sat 7.30pm, Sun 5pm
Tickets: $35 Full | $30 Conc
Bookings: fortyfive downstairs