Gracing the stage with a mighty set of pipes and some big opinions, Millicent Sarre is Opinionated moves from song to stand up to “white girl rap” and back to song again. Part-comic, part motivational speaker, it all comes with a strong feminist message and a voice deserving of an audience.
Sarre is a gifted singer-songwriter. Each song is well crafted and instantly catchy. No genre is uncovered. Personally I preferred her comedy songs – these felt genuinely original – to her ballads with a message. A musical theatre number about a “haunted vibrator” had the audience in stitches. Or my particular favourite, a ukelele song that starts with Sarre smilingly singing, “if you’re an adult man dating a teenager, you’re a creep”, about well…need I explain more? The lyrics were punchy and clever and there were no lines wasted. Her spoken asides during the song were playful and well-timed.
For a show presenting Sarre on a bare stage with only a piano and a mic for company, credit is due to lighting production which meant it felt like so much more. A dynamic use of lighting washes, snappy changes and even smoke machines gave the show that extra bit of dazzle.
Sarre is an engaging performer, and has that rare ability to make each audience member feel like her closest confidante. About forty minutes in, she shifts from a light-hearted, comedic tone to a more serious one. She bravely opens up about her own jealousies towards other women’s successes, a result of internalised misogyny, as well as her own battle with body image. Even in these scripted moments, the authenticity of her words was not lost. You could really see how close to her heart these issues are.
Just when I thought she ran the danger of falling into the trap of white feminism, she made an effort to acknowledge her own privilege (as a white, cis, straight-sized woman) and briefly touched on intersectional issues. She made a nod to First Nations people and being fat as feminist issues. Arguably she actually attempted to cover too much ground in just a short hour.
Whilst her message is not radical or revolutionary, it is nonetheless important. For me, her comic songs were the highlight with more original and interesting content. That being said, for young women on the cusp of finding themselves and their role in the world, this is strong, relevant and revelatory. They showed this with a massively affirming standing ovation. Audiences will leave Millicent Sarre is Opinionated invigorated by Sarre’s feminist message of self-love and with some new catchy tunes for their Spotify playlist.
Recommended Drink: A bone-dry martini. Strong, straight-to-the-point, and packs a punch.
Catch Millicent is Sarre is Opinionated until the 5th March. Tickets are available through the Adelaide Fringe Box Office.