What is theatre if it doesn't make you feel a sea of emotions? Theatre On your Own, a group of theatre enthusiasts staged their rendition of "Binder" by Vijay Tendulkar in the form of a "dramatic reading" or thematic staged reading. This experimental version of the play is inspired from Abstract Art and did a brilliant job in allowing the audience to completely understand and interpret the story with just the right tools of audiovisual presentation with an amazing handle on the rhythm and movement of the play entirely.
Binder is the story of Sakharam Binder, a bookbinder, who supposes he is doing the just thing by taking in other men's discarded women- castoffs wives. The play focuses on the enslavement of women in post-colonial India. He takes in these women and "uses" them as domestic servants and sex partners. This eventually drives everyone involved in this arrangement to insanity. Sakharam played by Utkarsh Gaharwar and Devashish Singbal (alternatively embodying and voicing) were absolutely perfect and kept the audience on the edge of their seat with the rage in which they performed. Lakshmi by Faria Fatma, a submissive woman played the first "bird" he took in and she was voiced by Debanjana Nath who also played Champa, the second woman he took in was the complete opposite of Lakshmi. They delivered intense and extremely powerful performances. Narrator Rahul Joshi did a wonderful job of leading the story and helping the audience with clarity toward the story. Designer and director Sarbajeet Das did a brilliant job in this interpretation of the play and allowed the audience to interpret the same in their own way making the audience think and reflect.
With a simply amazing set design, this play gave the audience a complete and whole theatre experience with the background music. The play spoke about very serious and conflicted issues and in some situations made it almost comical easing the crowd from that conflict. The performers did a remarkable job of getting into character. It did feel as if a lot was happening simultaneously. This raw, unfiltered rendition of this classic play is a strong recommendation by us. If you are an ardent lover of theatre and love some honest theatre, we suggest you stop; drop everything and go watch them!
– By Nikita Fernandes