The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 26 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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A scene from Emma. Picture: Pabitra Das

Jane Austen comes to tolly for a cup of tea!

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

~ Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey

Sunday afternoon at The Tollygunge Club transported one to an era where gowns, reticule and bonnets ruled Regency-era England. Tea with Austen, a production by The Red Curtain and an initiative by The Tollygunge Club Library Committee, brought to life some of her characters from Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Emma.

In the 50-minute-long production, Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey), Mrs Anne Weston and George Knightley (Emma), and Elizabeth Bennet and William Collins (Pride and Prejudice) were brought alive. Shreyashi Mukherjee played Jane Austen.

“I wanted to give an overview of Jane Austen’s style of writing. I thought it would be interesting to include Austen as a character to present an insight into her writings and characters. I hope the audience gets interested in the characters through this enactment and reads the novels,” said Shuktara Lal, the director.

Interestingly, Jane Austen (the character) read out the author’s letters to her sister Cassandra and a librarian named Mr Clarke. The director went against the conventional Elizabeth and Darcy scene and opted for the comic scene where Mr Collins proposes to Elizabeth.

“The club wanted to generate interest in reading and the library. The whole idea of Austen with tea appealed to us, especially since there are many Austen fans on the Library Committee,” said Sunayana Roy, the producer.

The afternoon ended, fittingly, with tea.

Ear for music: Make no mistake… these hooked-to-the-earphones kids may soon become your favourite singers! The semi-final round of Sankhu Entertainment & Production Pvt. Ltd. and Lions Club of Calcutta, Park Avenue, presents Khoj 2013 partnered by t2 took place at Lions Den (B126 Metropolitan Housing Society, EM Bypass) on Saturday. The contestants –– all in the five-40 age group –– turned up for the day-long auditions of the music talent hunt, judged by Rajeeb Chakraborty (sarod), Biswaroop Ghosh Dastidar (vocals) and Rajashree Bandyopadhyay (vocals). Sagnik Chatterjee (inset), 17, attended the auditions in the middle of his ISC examinations. “I’ve been singing since I was three years old and I hope my parents will be happy with my performance,” said the St. Paul’s Missions School student. And he certainly impressed the audience and judges. “Everybody here sings well and I hope to give my best performance at the auditions today,” said Namrata Bhattacharya, 19. The final round will be at Nazrul Mancha on March 3. Pictures: Arnab Mondal