Free Outgoing

Nightwood Theatre presents the North American premiere of Anupama Chandrasekhar's pertinent play

Presented by Nightwood Theatre
Written by Anupama Chandrasekhar
Directed by Kelly Thornton

Anusree Roy as Malini and Andrew Lawrie as Sharan. Photo by John Lauener.

Anupama Chandraskhar’s Free Outgiong premiered to rave reviews in 2007 in the U.K., and Nightwood Theatre is presenting its North American premiere as part of their 2013/14 season.

Free Outgoing takes place in Chennai, a city in southern India known for its conservatism, and explores the clash between traditional and modern values through the phenomenon of viral online videos. Malini (Anusree Roy) is a hard-working widow with high hopes for her two children, 15-year-old Deepa and her older brother Sharan (Andrew Lawrie). When Deepa is caught in a compromising position with her boyfriend in a cell-phone video, the story goes viral and much to the family’s dismay, Deepa becomes “the most watched teenager in India.” As a result, Deepa and Sharan are expelled from their private school and the family is subjected to ostracism and shaming as their community turns against them.

Despite the rapid advances in cellphone technology we’ve witnessed since 2007, as recent news stories attest this scenario and the sexual double standard that underlies it remain chillingly relevant across the globe. Free Outgoing provides a compelling examination of the destructive consequences that result from the policing of female sexuality inherent to many traditionalist cultures, and the way this can be magnified by modern technology. Although the play revolves around Deepa’s transgression, in a brilliant stylistic choice Chandrasekhar chooses to never have her appear on stageshe is always in a room to the side; she is an idea defined only by what others say about and project onto her.

Anusee Roy is a force to be reckoned with as Deepa’s resourceful mother Malini, as she runs the gamut of emotions from incredulity, to denial, to rage, to resignation. Nightwood’s production of Free Outgoing is a powerful and well-executed presentation of a story that needs to be heard.

Free Outgoing runs until February 16 at Factory Theatre. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Tue, 2014-01-28 - Sun, 2014-02-16
Our rating:


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.