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Curtains on theatre treat

Artistes stage Odia play Muthaye Mati on the last evening of Kalinga Theatre Fest at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 27: Flavours of literature and culture from different parts of the country found a place on stage during the 15th edition of Kalinga Natya Mahotsav, which concluded on Monday.

The theatre festival organised by cultural organisation Satabdira Kalakara at Rabindra Mandap saw troupes from different corners of the country participating in a weeklong theatre festival.

The curtains fell with Odia play Muthaye Mati, staged by the city-based New Repertory Theatre. Directed by Nalini Nihar Nayak, the play portrayed the gradual shift of villagers’ perceptions. Lured by good-looking cars, and large industries in an upcoming port, villagers start leaving farming and look for greener pastures in the industrial sector. The play raises the question of declining impetus on agricultural pursuits and highlights the role of farmers in the development model.

During the weekend, theatre lovers were treated to Bengali play Patol Babu Cinema Star and Kashmiri play Krouch.

Staged by the Purba Pashim theatre troupe and based on a story by Satyajit Ray, the play tells the story of Patol Babu, who is on the wrong side of 50. In his salad days, he was fond of acting and quite a hit on stage. As the years passed, in a struggle to make a living, acting became a thing of the past.

But one day he receives an offer to work in a film. He gets excited but as it turns out, the offer is a minuscule role that simply involves him running into the hero and exclaiming “Oh!” After initial disappointment, he remembers the advice of his mentor that no role is too small for a real actor. He rehearses the word “oh” and having performed his role to perfection he feels content.

The Kashmiri play, directed by Reshi Rashid and enacted by artistes of Roshan Art Centre, was an adaptation of Kabuliwala by Rabindranath Tagore.

At the conclusion of the festival, veteran artiste Asim Basu lauded the efforts of Satabdira Kalakara. “In the past 15 years, the organisation has done a commendable job in keeping us all abreast with the changes taking place in India’s theatre scenario.”.

Another play will take place at Bhanjakala Mandap for three days from March 1 as part of Natyadhara, an ongoing series of plays.