Vol. 5 Num 289 Sun. March 20, 2005  


Yet another family play from Kolkata

The theatre scene is warming up. In the ongoing drama festival arranged by Dhaka Padatik, Protikrity, a troupe from Kolkata has come to stage two plays--Dampoti and Darpone Swaroswati. Taking the cue from Dhaka Padatik, many theatre troupes in Bangladesh invite theatre groups from India during a festival.

On March 18, Protikrity staged two shows of Dampoti, a family play, by popular Indian playwright Manoj Mitra.

The Kolkata troupes in Dhaka mostly stage drawing room-based family drama. All the plays depict a common family crisis such as lack of care for the elderly people, extramarital affairs and so on.

Manoj's play Dampoti is no exception to the trend. Like other plays from Kolkata, the curtains go up on a scene portraying a quarrel between an aged couple on some light issues interwoven with fun. Later, these minor quarrels turn serious because of the children's careless and selfish attitude. However, Manoj has alongside presented an extra marital affair and the havoc it causes in the life of a young couple.

Manoj's play ends with poetic justice, a popular technique of terminating a drama mostly used by Elizabethan playwrights like Shakespeare and others. An aged bachelor doctor, also a family friend of the aged couple, lends a hand to help solve the problems created by the greedy children. On the other hand, an extramarital affair comes to an end when the husband and wife realise their mutual need.

Director Aalok Dev has followed the typical realistic form of Kolkata theatre. His technique of presenting the sequences is similar to the technique used in TV plays. The interesting aspect of his direction is the handling of two sequences simultaneously on stage.

Like the other designers, Bilu Datta has also used a sofa set to create the ambience of a living room. What is exceptional of Bilu's design from the Kolkata trend is setting some stagecraft at the backstage to present bedroom and hotel sequences.

Joy Sen's light design is simple but effective.

The spontaneous performance of the artistes created a light hearted environment. Amal Chakrobarti and Shyamal Das performed better than the others.

Sequences from the play