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Stage set for battle of imagination

How would India and the UK revisit their past — in antagonism or in good spirit? Students from across the country are all set to explore their answers to the question in the finals of the 33rd edition of the British Council Drama Festival at GD Birla Sabhagar on Sunday.

Three city schools — Future Hope, Birla High School for Boys and MC Kejriwal Vidyapeeth — will battle it out with five more from across the country in India-UK: A Modern Fairytale. The finalists were picked from among 190 from across the country, 45 of them from Calcutta.

“Re-imagine is one of the main strands of the British Council, a project launched a year ago that looks into the cultural relations between the two countries. We wanted to draft it into the school drama theme to see how children document it,” said Samarjit Guha, head, programmes, East India, British Council.

The theme has stoked the imagination of students with their interpretations ranging from a conversation between Robert Clive and Siraj-ud-Daulah to Little Red Riding Hood in a corporate scenario or Calcutta under a queen’s reign. The students have dabbled in everything from writing their own scripts to improvising with the props.

Theatre promoter and co-founder of Junoon, Sanjna Kapoor will be the chief guest and special judge at Sunday’s finale, to be held in association with the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority and Manchester Metropolitan University and supported by National Jute Board and RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.

The best actor, actress and teacher co-ordinator will get to train for a week at the Manchester university.