Saturday, August 24, 2013

A piece of theatre this afternoon called Nirbhaya.

Which means Fearless One.

The play takes its name from the nickname bestowed by the media on a girl who was raped on a bus from Munirka and died 13 days later from her injuries.

But it acts a reflection on the abysmal treatment of very many women in modern-day India in a quintessentially patriarchal society.

How can we possibly let this happen? asks extraordinary South African writer / director, Yael Farber.

But at the same time, what can we possibly do that's even halfway to being remotely adequate to address a state of being that is as integral to Indian society as the caste system?

It's a stunning production that feels far bigger than its relatively compact cast would suggest. I guess, like Ballad of the Burning Star, if the idea is big enough, the practical constraints of a fringe show become incidental. A springboard rather than a straitjacket.

In the end, I think Farber is suggesting that the best we can do is to be fearless. To speak out about injustice where and when we can.

And what a stupendous, audacious, admirable vehicle she's created for that message.


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