On a Sunday evening, the St. Xavier’s College auditorium was abuzz with activity — not for a fest, convention or summit, but with a play on war and world politics. Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, presented their musical theatre production Clatta on February 10. A first of its kind for the IIM Calcutta Dramatics Cell, the play dealt with the morality and hypocrisy involved in wars, with elements of dance, live music and mime in it.
The play traces the journey of Claude, a pilot who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki during World War II (not to be confused with Major Claude Eatherly, pilot of weather reconnaissance aircraft Straight Flush, that supported the Hiroshima bombing). While his country, United States of America, saw him as a war hero who put an end to World War II, Claude perceives himself to be a murderer and wants punishment.
The act opens with two vulture-like lawyers, who are waiting for some action in the courtroom, pouncing on the case but forced to prove Claude “not guilty”. Vandana Kanwal as Lawyer Two riveted the audience with her beautiful voice and comic timing.
|Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, stages Clatta at the St. Xavier’s College auditorium. Pictures: Arnab Mondal
Claude’s painful journey towards salvation is juxtaposed with the fate of a young Afghan involved in the 9/11 terror attack. What is heroism to him is terrorism to them, and the cycle continues.
Minimal sets and lights and attempts to be a little different marked the play Clatta. Co-directed by Pranay Agarwal and Namrata Agarwal, it had music by Anusha Bhushan and Akhil Saraodi. “Working with a group of enthusiastic people who are not that comfortable singing or dancing was both exciting and challenging,” said Pranay.
Had the play been a little stronger on the musical front, it would have been a much tighter and interesting watch.
Nirdesh Kumar and Aditya Acharya — as the 9/11 terrorist and Claude the pilot, respectively — deserve a mention for the natural ease with which they played their roles.