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Feluda in the act

Film-maker Sandip Ray may still be looking for someone suitable to slip into Lalmohanbabu’s dhuti-panjabi and jhola, but on stage Feluda and Topshe have found their man.

Charbak’s stage adaptation of the Satyajit Ray story Apsara Theatre-er Mamla — presented by the All Bengal Women’s Union and partnered by The Telegraph at GD Birla Sabhagar on Thursday evening — found the father-son duo of Sabyasachi ‘Feluda’ Chakrabarty and Gaurav ‘Topshe’ Chakrabarty creating some laugh-out-loud moments at the expense of Lalmohanbabu, played by Subir Roy Chowdhury.

For Feluda fans, it was a thrill to watch the 6ft, baritone-voiced sleuth in action, as Sabyasachi went about rounding up the suspects and cracking a murder mystery. And with a Topshe looking a lot like his cousin Feluda, Chakrabarty Senior and Junior made a great team. Kheyali Dastidar — Sabyasachi’s heroine in good ol’ Bengali serial Tero Parbon — played one of the prime suspects.

In the one-hour-50-minute play, directed by Sabyasachi, Feluda steps in when an actor of Apsara theatre group goes missing. As the group scrambles to put together a new production, the lead actor is found murdered.

The script penned by Arindam Ganguly has enough fun moments, the funniest character being Bhikarimal (Sujit Ghosh), the owner of Apsara who wants to sell it off.

“People have appreciated the play,” said Sabyasachi, who had started his career with theatre in the ’60s. “I used to be a backstage hand. Then I helped with set-building, painting, postering and ticketing. I got my first break in 1975 in my father’s (Jagadish Chakrabarty) play Sitar Agnipariksha,” he added.

But now, Feluda is in the mood to hang up his stage chappals too — after ‘retiring’ from Sandip Ray’s screen series. “We’ve had 50-plus shows and I am not too keen on staging it anymore as I am ageing and I have a belly! Nobody wants to see an old Feluda,” signed off Sabyasachi.