(Kate Hennessy’s article appeared in the Guardian, 8/5.)
Radical ideas should shine brightest of all. They should be exciting to learn, know and teach. They should be accessible to all the people they have the potential to lift up.
Yet most of the ideas that sparkle within feminist and queer theory, for example, are cloaked in academia, and translation comes at a cost.
Thanks to New York playwright Taylor Mac however, that cost is just the price of a ticket, to Belvoir Street theatre’s production of Hir.
Directed by Anthea Williams, Hir – pronounced “here”, the preferred gender pronoun of the play’s protagonist Max – reminds us of theatre’s potential: to be a brilliant conduit that makes ideas alive and accessible. Hir doesn’t merely explore themes of gender fluidity, queer theory and the subversion of toxic masculinity, because that would be dull. It lightens the weight of concepts that many find foreign or fraught, places them in a family setting and detonates them. Shrapnel flies everywhere.