A new play will present the untold story of the Hijra – India’s officially recognised third gender – when it opens in Stratford East, London today.
The House of In Between follows the lives of a Hijra clan in Bihar, who are making their way through India in 2016 while maintaining their culture, traditions, beliefs and values.
The place is India and the time now. Hijras are the third gender and they were once revered across Ancient Asia and Arabia. In today’s world they still follow their old ways; living in Hijra ‘communities’ where they dance, entertain and earn their living bestowing blessings on newlyweds and new-borns.
Hijras are legally considered to be neither male nor female, and were in April 2014 acknowledged by India’s Supreme Court as a third gender.
Uma is the leader of such a clan in Patna, the second largest city in eastern India. She is determined to protect her House, the Hijras who live there and celebrate the millennia-old traditions of their way of life. One day a stranger arrives in need of help and the community open their doors, and indeed their heart to help. But this act of charity leads to an explosive chain of events that no-one could imagine, leaving Uma fighting to hold her family together at any cost.
With traditional Indian dance and music, the modern world meets mystical India in this brand new play that reveals the actions some people are willing to take to love, live and fight for life!
It is written by Sevan Greene and directed by TRSE associate director Pooja Ghai. The House of In Between runs from April 8-30 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London.