Vol. 5 Num 56 Wed. July 21, 2004  

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (June 17-July 23)
Dhaka Drama Festival 2004
Bhuboner Ghate
Looking at stark reality
Natyajan staged Bhuboner Ghate on July 19 at the Experimental Theatre Stage as part of the drama festival arranged by BGTF. Dr Syed Manzurul Islam's play is about the daily life of the down trodden people of Dhaka city. The protagonist of the play is an underprivileged acid victim, a house-wife tortured by her husband.

Kalpana, the protagonist of the play, has migrated alone from a village. She struggles to re-establish herself in the cruel social structure of Dhaka. In this city, she faces new problems and has to routinely tell lies for her self preservation.

The interesting part of the play Bhuboner Ghate is that it brings us face to face with an eternal question-- who is a friend and who is not? Sometimes we come across many evil doers in the society who are unknown to us but they come forward to help us in times of need even at a time when relatives refuse to do so.

Some typical characters of Sadarghat area--like gangsters, pimps and prostitutes--are portrayed in Dr Islam's play. However, plot construction and dialogue diction are below par. Like his contemporaries, he has used the dialects of Noakhali and Barisal region to generate humour.

Director Munira Yousuf Memi has done her job successfully with a realistic approach. However, sometimes the pace of the play flags. Set designer Uttam Guho has used a replica of the front part of a ship at one corner of the back stage to create a real picture of a busy Sadarghat area. Changing some stage crafts he has tried to create new sequences. However, a realistic set designing of a busy port is tough to recreate on the stage. He could have used suggestive settings.

The only negative part of the play is the poor light designing of Uttam Guho.

Chitralekha Guho did not suit the role of Kalpana. It is time she gracefully shifted to roles that match her age. Munni as Somana and Khaer as Taher performed well. Other performers need to improve their drama skills.

Munira Yousuf Memi
Actress turned director
After attaining vast experience in theatre, Munira Yousuf Memi is one of the few female theatre artistes who has ventured into directorial work. A regular member of Natyajan, Memi said, 'My group members forced me to direct the play Bhubaner Ghate. It is an easy drama and that is why I have completed my task. But, I do not think that I am an expert in directing classics.'

'Because of the theatre hall crisis, we do not get slots to stage our plays regularly. As a result, we cannot give our plays a polished shape.' Memi added.

'As four major actors have left the group, we had to change the cast. That is why, we consider the show that has been staged at Dhaka Drama Festival 2004 as the remaking of the play Bhuboner Ghate. In the up coming shows we will try to give the play a more polished shape,' Memi added.

Talking about the drama festival, Memi appreciated Khaled Khan's direction in the play Kalshondhyay, because of its unique choreography.

Ershad Kamol

The play depicts the down trodden people