| Moments from (above) Chandali and Deepadanda
A spate of new productions has taken the Bengali stage in the past few weeks. Metro checks out some plays set in different times with diverse themes.
Shaoli Mitra comes on stage with something father Sambhu Mitra had conceived long ago. The Pancham Baidik production is an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's dance drama Chandalika. While retaining the core issue of untouchability in Tagore's work, Shaoli explores the intricacies of human relationships through a gamut of dance, song and dialogue.
'I have not deviated from Tagore and have not added anything on my own either. The untouchability issue is there but I have also harped on the individual's personal aspiration. The piece starts with the song Chokkhe aamar trishna and ends with Pather ki achhe sheshe. I wanted to explore what lies beyond, at the end,' says Shaoli, who has directed Chandali and also essayed the role of Ma.
To be staged at Uttam Mancha on September 19 & 26.
The four-show-old production from Gandhar is adapted from a J.B. Priestley play. Satyaasatya is a tale of deception and falsehood creeping into some seemingly perfect relationships in today's times. 'The hidden tensions and complexities in relationships become obvious when you scratch the surface. And there's also a play with time which may seem to be virtual reality,' says Bijoylakshmi Barman, who plays Paromita, a socialite trying to cope with a life of pulls and pressures. The play comprising six characters is directed by Shyamal Chakraborty.
To be staged at Academy of Fine Arts on September 27.
Bohurupee's latest production turns back time to the kingdoms of Pataliputra and Magadh, and the divergent worldviews of surgeons Kumarbhatta Jibak and Sudatta.
'There is no linear progression. Through the conflict of ideologies of an idealist and a realist, we have tried to mirror the social reality of the period which is relevant to the present times as well,' says director Kumar Roy.
To be staged at Academy of Fine Arts on September 17.
| A moment from Satyaasatya
An adaptation of the Chandrabati-Jayananda love story from the Mymensingha Geetika, an oral epic of Bangladesh. Kasba Arghya has retained the folklore structure as much as possible in this solo act by Sima Ghosh (Chandrabati).
The rustic feel is heightened through costumes and use of dialect.
'Unlike the Manasamangal, where God takes centre stage, Mymensingha Geetika is all about people. Here, Chandrabati talks about how religious dogmas are suppressing her love, and we haven't tried to give it a modern perspective,' says director Manish Mitra.
To be staged at Academy of Fine Arts on October 9.
Nabamayukh delves into a real-life story of lust, power and superstition from the court files of Bihar. At the centre of the plot is a wealthy landlord who, in his desire to sire a male child, tries to seduce his wife's maid.
'We wanted to explore how the trend to bequeath one's legacy to a male heir is still prevalent across the country. The feud between the Thakurs and Yadavs exists in Bihar to this day,' says director Rishi Mukhopadhyay.
To be staged at Madhusudan Mancha on October 1.