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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 15.05.09

The play: Checkmate

Directed by: Srijit Mukherji

Catch it on: May 15, 16 and 17 at GD Birla Sabhagar, 7pm

The plot: Inspired by the adventures of Bengali sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi, Checkmate is a murder mystery in English, set in Calcutta of the Seventies. The play unfolds in a north Calcutta house where the patriarch of the family is murdered and super sleuth Hrishikesh is called in to crack the mystery. The three main characters are the detective, his wife and his assistant friend, in keeping with Sharadindu Bandopadhyay’s trio — Byomkesh, Satyabati and Ajit.

Directorspeak: Checkmate looks at interpersonal relationships in Bengal against the backdrop of the hippie culture and the Naxalite movement of the Seventies,” says Srijit, who has written the play. Last year, Srijit staged Feluda Pherot in Bangalore with Barun Chanda as Feluda and Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Topshe.

The cast: Aparup Acharya plays Hrishikesh, while Senjuti Roy Mukherjee plays his wife and Srijit his assistant friend. Trina Nileena Banerjee, Daminee Mukherjee, Anubrata Basu and Biswajit Chakraborty appear as members of the household and prime suspects in the murder.

Watch out for: A blend of real and abstract sets. The colours of the sets, lights and costumes vary in shades of black, white, grey and brown with sudden spurts of red. “It’s a conscious stylisation to get a retro look. The colours also define the characters and their nature,” explains Srijit.

Mohua Das