Ever watched a play blindfolded? Chennai’s Evam experiments with sensory fantasy theatre

Viewers on the present
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As quickly because the blindfolds come on, a nebulous mass of tension and pleasure parks itself in my head. The place do I’m going, what or whom do I maintain on to, what if I fall on my face?…earlier than the questions can multiply, an outstretched hand finds and guides me to security — a stationary chair. I’m now one of many 75 blindfolded folks seated to “watch” a play by way of each different sense besides sight. I instantly begin trying to find a well-recognized hand [of the friend who accompanied me] and demand that I be seated subsequent to her. Phew, all is properly. And so begins The Most Improbable Present that You Cant See.

A novel, immersive piece of theatre, Evam’s newest, in affiliation with The Savera Resort and the Nationwide Affiliation for Blind (NAB), was an experiment that went surprisingly properly contemplating the numerous movable components that made up this format.

The primary brush of motion was a rabbit (a luxurious toy that was maybe grazed towards my leg) that ran throughout my leg, and a ‘massive sneeze’ that coated me in an surprising bathe. Shortly after, guided by the narrator’s (Nithin Ram) resounding voice, we have been launched to Princess Why (an apparent name again to Mahasweta Devi’s famed Why Why Lady),who whispered, bellowed, sang and danced round us. The story adopted this very princess, who refused to cease asking questions.  

The descriptive narration was dotted with sensory theatre, comprising acts like having to lift our palms to obtain a candy deal with: possibly a date or a cupcake. Sturdy notes of vanilla wafted by way of the air, an olfactory deal with, in preparation for what was about to be tasted. We have been apprehensive , however nudged by the reassuring narrator, the vanilla cupcake was lastly consumed. “Hmmm,” my good friend accepted, whereas taking a chew.

A blindfolded audience being led to the venue

A blindfolded viewers being led to the venue
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particular association

Setting the play in a fantastical world that had an intriguing mixture of the whimsy of Dahl and the gravitas of Devi, meant extra creativeness, and meals for thought. The viewers rightly created a world of their heads, making an expertise like this tailor-made for every thoughts. This encompassed the great thing about this showcase: itheavily relied on every induvidual’s interpretation, which in flip, is influenced by their very own conditioning. 

Although the play took a fantastical route to inform a narrative of empowerment, the narrative at occasions struggled to succeed in past ṭhe apparent tropes.

Within the garb of an all-out entertainer, the present additionally made the viewers mirror on the collective privilege we get pleasure from as folks with sight. Proper from the terrifying, guided stroll in the direction of our seat, to when the present ends, you’re reminded of your privilege, and the present makes you empathise with the visually-impaired. . 

Then, naturally, it additionally begs the query: why can we not see extra inclusive theatre within the metropolis, and even the nation? That is maybe the primary, however positively the appropriate step ahead.   

This present can be again in Chennai in January 2024. For extra particulars, attain out to 9500078645.

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