After Cinemar Moto that traces the evolution of Bengali cinema, education minister Bratya Basu’s group Bratyajon has come up with a thriller — Ke? (Who?) — that debuts on Thursday at the Academy of Fine Arts. “The dominant tone of the play is that of a thriller but it goes beyond that and offers comments on various social issues and also a counter-critique on some popular notions of naritwa (womanhood) and naribaad (feminism). The comments are present in a subtle way and it’s up to the audience to interpret them,” Basu, who has written and directed the play, said before a late-night dress rehearsal (pictures above and left) at the Academy auditorium.
Ke?, Basu said, seeks to capture “my time” through human relations and conjugal life. “Like all my other plays, this one, too, is a story of the time we, especially the urban middle class, live in. It has been written in a way that people from all sections can relate to the theme.”
The story revolves around a doctor, who is estranged from his wife and has come to live in the house of his rich sister and brother-in-law on the outskirts of the city. One morning a stranger comes and accuses the doctor of being responsible for his wife’s death. The woman, he says, was carrying the doctor’s child when she committed suicide. The stranger asks the doctor to confess his crime before police, or else...
The doctor is played by Ritwik Chakraborty of Shabdo fame, his stage comeback after around eight years. “I am enjoying my return to theatre. My character has many layers. The journey the character goes through — I am enjoying it,” said Ritwik.