Punctured by own barbs

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 January, 2000, 12:00am

ANYONE looking for an example of how a perfectly relevant argument suffers through overkill need look no further. The spectre of pre-millennial angst is usually met with that 'not again!' look.

It takes a lot of courage to tackle the topic in a theatre. So credit to Binary, a young collective, for their own take on the issue.

Their play, however, offered little enlightenment even though, cleverly, they turned the beast on its head. They offered a different reading: the way people see cyberspace ventures as a search for personal Holy Grails, a projection of hopes and ambitions with possibly little basis.

Instead of exploring the helplessness humans feel in shiny futuristic circumstances, Binary drowned their relatively few introspective moments with too many crowd-pleasing antics and trite gags. Whatever they intended to say was buried by gimmicks and every time the audience laughed, the show lost a little more sheen.

The parodies of pirate CD hawkers and fairy tales all backfired.

The Binary cast gave their all to their maiden performance, but the dominance of corny irony and populist sarcasm served only to undermine their efforts.

Ironic facades are a symptom of a generation unable to show real emotions. Binary thus inadvertently erred with the very mistakes they were there to lash out at.

2056 - Beta Version 1.0 Binary McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre