By the Bi

By the Bi is a show that offers to tackle the heady subject matter - of the difficulties of being bisexual - head on. Through a range of performance techniques, from physical theatre, to contemporary dance to spoken word, the premise is to use a series of vignettes to explore the central theme. Brought to us by Blazing Change Players and with a lot of their blurb being about trailblazing a change in the perception of bisexuality, my interest was definitely piqued.

They have a strong point to make and big, brave voices to make it with.

The company is comprised of three female players, two of which are also contributing writers for the piece. Morgan Barbour, one of the three, also choreographed the movement for it. They worked as a three, individually and in pairs as they brought us each clip from diary entries to short poems, with almost every scene becoming stylised movement and dance, to either compliment or emphasise the points.

The actors handled the content of the spoken parts very respectfully and acted it passionately. They clearly care a great deal about the subject matter and, regardless of ability, are doing what they set out to do by promoting positive discourse on the subject of bisexuality. However, a few more simple and lovely moments aside, the dance was for the most part childishly amateur. It betrayed the resolve in the text by being awkward and clunky and at times even looking improvised to the point of made up. Instead of harnessing their youthful energy and using their own skills to tell their story, they tried to make themselves into something far too over stylised, which just came off as immature.

These ladies are putting good energy into their work. They have a strong point to make and big, brave voices to make it with. However this piece needs to be reigned back in and reimagined through their own eyes, instead of what they think people want to see, because the message here is something to be heard.

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Fifteen vignettes utilising a unique cohesion of modern dance, physicalised movement and spoken word. By the Bi unpacks how society's isolation of bisexual culture perpetuates harmful and hurtful stereotypes of bisexuality that include confusion, greediness and promiscuity. By the Bi is an open platform that discusses not only the oppression of the bisexual community, but celebrates the beauty and individuality of its members. It is not only a show, but a proactive step forward in the movement for social equality.

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