Devdas to grace mobile theatre stage - Kohinoor to stage play based on Sarat Chandra's novel

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  • Published 4.07.13

Guwahati, July 3: He was made famous on the big screen by Pramathesh Barua (1935), K.L. Saigal (1936), Dilip Kumar (1955) and Shah Rukh Khan (2002) and now Devdas Mukherjee is about to appear in a different avatar on stages across Assam.

Inspired by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Devdas, playwright Abhijeet Bhattacharjya has created a “theatre-friendly” avatar of the tragic hero who will relive his life and death on the Kohinoor theatre stage in different parts of the state.

“In the past, Assam’s mobile theatres staged many important plays but nobody staged Devdas because the story lacks dramatic elements. This time, I decided to present it to the mobile theatre audience with certain changes,” Bhattacharjya, a popular playwright in the state’s mobile theatre industry, said.

Stating that changes had been made to the original story to bring the protagonist closer to people, the playwright said, “For instance, besides the other traits mentioned in the original work, Devdas also loved acting,” he said. In the play, Devdas does not die without having a last look at his beloved Paro. Rather, he dies on on stage while acting in front of her.

Devdas is also portrayed as a village youth who comes to Guwahati after Paro’s marriage is fixed with another person.

Tapan Lahkar, producer of Kohinoor, is hopeful that the audience would like the play. “Films have been made in different languages on Devdas. But villagers in Assam are yet to know about him,” he said.

While veteran actor Tapan Das will play Devdas, Munmi Phukan will be cast as Paro.

Lahkar said he had a girl in mind to play the character of Chandramukhi but was awaiting her confirmation.

The group will start rehearsals from Friday. In another play, Edin Tumi Ahibay, the group has planned to stage a plane crash.

Founded by Ratan Lahkar in 1976, Kohinoor is one of the leading mobile theatre groups in Assam. In the past, the group gained global attention by staging Titanic. The group was first to stage plays starring both men and women and was also the first to introduce double roles — a concept not unknown to movie audiences. It was also the first mobile theatre group to perform outside the state.