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Curtain call for theatre treat

Natyotsab, a three-day drama festival, winded up with resounding applause on Sunday in Ranchi.

Organised by Majlish, a cultural outfit of Bengali-speaking Mecon and SAIL employees, the event was hosted at Mecon Community Hall. A tribute to late dramatist Mohit Chattopadhyay, the festival staged two plays on each of the three evenings, courtesy local and visiting groups, touching on various genres and themes.

On Friday, host Majlish presented two plays. The first, Kharashrot (Currents), directed by Prabir Polle, upheld the belief that poverty could not hinder honesty. The second, Du Anar Bipotti (Misfortune of a pittance), directed by Ram Mohan Chattopadhyay, observed with caustic wit the workings of the bureaucracy during the Raj.

On Saturday, Radhanagar Darpan from Calcutta staged an edited version of Tadaka written by Saumitra Basu. Revolving around the mythological demoness, the play closely examined the concept of the anti-heroine and how the weak were oppressed through ages. Directed by Kishor Moitra, the play demonstrated excellent teamwork enriched by music and dance, minimal but effective props and planned choreography.

“I liked the deft handling of lights that made the choreography more meaningful,” said Kingshuk Chakraborty, a veteran stage actor.

Mejkakimar Galpo (The story of our second aunt), based on a story by acclaimed writer Nabanita Dev Sen, was also staged on Saturday by Chittapat, a Jalpaiguri-based group. Directed by the duo of Mousumi and Sekhar Majumdar, the play was a peek into a middle class, modern family.

Happy-D, staged this evening by 4th Bell Theatre, another Calcutta group, was directed by Aniruddha Dasgupta. The unusual story of how actors faced an aggressive audience and presented their own version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, had tragedy, black humour and lyricism.

Deshapriya Club, a Ranchi-based outfit, presented a thought-provoking play Badnam (Ill-repute) also on Sunday. Directed by Pradip Bose, it showed how women gave their lives to the freedom struggle.

“Active since 1966, Majlish has been hosting this festival for many years. We also promote young talent,” said Majlish secretary Golap Mohammad Chowdhury.

“Ranchi lags behind in the theatre circuit, which is why events like these facilitate interaction and allow us to learn from visitors,” smiled a theatre personality.