MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Music & malady

In terms of form, Vincenter Mrityu comes across as an interesting reconfiguration of the genre of the musical

Dipankar Sen Published 11.05.24, 05:53 AM
A moment from Vincenter Mrityu by Kasba Arghya

A moment from Vincenter Mrityu by Kasba Arghya

Vincent van Gogh’s boundless artistic talent, coupled with his tormented life scorched by dire poverty and bouts of insanity, has held an irresistible fascination for the Bengali imagination. Vincent has been resurrected multiple times in Bengali theatre, with Vincenter Mrityu (produced by Kasba Arghya) being the newest entrant in this category. The director, Manish Mitra, acknowledges Antonin Artaud’s celebrated (yet critically debunked for its flagrant subjectivism) essay,Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society”, as one of the launching pads of the play. Like that of the essay, the play’s focus is on van Gogh’s insanity and, ultimately, his death.

In terms of form, Vincenter Mrityu comes across as an interesting reconfiguration of the genre of the musical. Unlike in standard musicals, the characters here do not sing or speak in rhyming lines, but it is music, both instrumental and vocal, that constitutes the spine and the soul of the performance. The directorial design deliberately liberates music from being consigned to the background (as is normative) so as to become as seminal as the performance of the actors. Shibaprasad Bhowmik’s vocals are unfailingly stirring and profoundly moving; better still is the fact that his singing emits energy, which the actors feed upon to nourish their own performances. Undoubtedly, the music has to be one of the very best that one has heard on the Bengali theatre stage in recent times.

ADVERTISEMENT

Raju Bera and Kaustav Gupta play the two Vincents — the split indicating the artist’s fractured self. Both are enormously talented actors who create sizzling chemistry on stage, complementing each other’s flamboyance and finesse. They both grab their individual moments to glow brightly, but their partnership always remains collaborative rather than competitive. However, sufficient credit has to be given to the other actors as well who ensure that the quality of the performance remains high. Mary Acharya, Sharanya Dey, Subhajit Chakraborty and Sima Ghosh are eminently effective and Aishik Roychowdhury shines brilliantly amongst the choral group.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT