MPTF 2014 Theatre

Citizen Reviews: Beyond Binary

BREAKING BOUNDARIES ‘Beyond Binary’ made the audience question pre-conceived notions of gender. Photo: M. Srinath  

Beauty, despite inequality

Consider Beyond Binary to be a theatricised elegiac version of a cinema docudrama. The play fluctuates between character and actor, fact and fiction and showcases what is arguably the most tasteful breach of the fourth wall that has graced Chennai. The director was on stage for the most part, a hero of his own segments, with interludes of honest storytelling that worked in perfect harmony with the other elements of the production. The narrative was fragmented, giving us glimpses into the lives of each character, each actor and the director. Each fragment was different; some were raw and brutally honest, and some, such as the segments of dance (featuring exquisite physical performances), were filled with beautiful poetry. With a live four-piece band that added mystical lyricism, Beyond Binary proved that with a cast and crew so passionate, even the ugly truth of inequality can be portrayed beautifully.  

Gautama Ramesh

Kotturpuram

Beyond comfort zones

The difficulties of the ‘different’ genders were brought out quite boldly through a dance-drama and a set of monologue interviews. It was a bit confusing to follow the Koreans speak and also read the subtitles, thereby missing their stage presence. The presentation was thought- provoking at times and deserves kudos for a gripping portrayal that took us outside our comfort zones. The live music, which also provided the backdrop, and the sheer energy of the artistes stole the show. The ice-breakers at the beginning involving certain members of the audience got our attention and set the mood for a unique experiment on stage.

A few situations could have been enacted instead of the abstract discourse. Probably, the script writer could have explored the lighter side of the serious subject occasionally. Even so, it a rich collaboration that was evident in the exploration of a challenging subject.

Hemant Chordia P.

Nungambakkam

Heart over matter

Beyond Binary finds that soft corner within us through a brilliant performance that received no less than a standing ovation. The silhouettes of the cast slid into shears and layers of white to share their plight. Every individual had a story for us to traverse through, their individuality upheld with the symbolic use of varied chairs. Through the theatrical feast, the feather of there being various sexual orientations among a million, but acceptance by not many of us, gradually settles down on our bed of notions and superstitions, and it becomes easier to think with our hearts than reason with our brain. The team did a dynamic satire on how we are people at the end of the day and it is not about sex. After all, when we delve into science for answers, shouldn't mythology have a fair share of its say too? With the acoustic effects seamlessly enhancing the power of each outreach and struggle, I realized with a lump in my throat and tear-filled eyes, that director Yosup Bae and Performance Group Tuida struck the right chord with the common man, in spite of handling the sensitive issues of sex, gender and people.

Ekshikaa Sivanathan

Nandanam


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