X or Y
Written and performed by Infuse Theatre Company
Flash Theatre Festival 2016
So, here I am, 61 years old, never even thought about whether I was a man or not, I am now faced with 5 young ladies telling me what I need to know about body dysmorphia and the struggles of transgender people, and I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a little discomfort at the thought. But this is Flash festival 2016 and I am here to be educated so on with the show!
Infuse Theatre Company is an amalgamation of the talents of Annalise Taylor, Rhiana Young, Stephanie Waugh, Grace Aitken and Kathryn McKerrow. And talent there is in abundance as we are treated to some hilarious characters, who with crazy hats and costumes describe the struggles of a pair of gentlemen in the 19th Century and their wish to be live and be treated as women. Funny yet poignant, as we hear of their trial and from the doctor (in the loosest sense) who carries out their examination. His lascivious discussion with the judge is funny and disgusting in equal measure. Annalise must have a back ache from her portrayal of the judge and Stephanie as the doctor had to be seen to be believed.
For me, the most eye opening parts of this show, were the individual stories from both male and female points of view and the struggles of being born into the wrong body. Being forced to choose between being what they knew to be their true selves and their families. The acting talents of each of our company were put to the test with these parts and they did themselves proud. They gave us a glimpse, a small insight into the difficulty these people were put through. I had no idea of the brutality they are subject to and cannot comprehend their families disowning them.
As well as educating the audience, there was more than enough fun and humour to make this a joy to watch. The 5 ladies work extraordinarily well together and their tremendous talents, both individual and as a group are bought to the fore in this production. Of all of the shows I have seen this one without doubt has some of the most complicated choreography, including brilliant chair moves, costume changes and all carried out faultlessly.
Once again, a show with a social responsibility message and this is definitely to be welcomed. There was nothing in this show that I would change and I would love to watch it again. As for the tiny technical glitch, who gives a monkeys as this performance was so good, there could have been seagulls loose and it still would not have detracted from the talent on show.
Congratulations to you all. This was a well devised, thought provoking piece and you all work together like you have never been apart.