Receives Plaudits at Bharat Rang Maha Utsav
seventh Bharat Rang Maha Utsav organised by India's premier
National School of Drama (NSD) that ran from January 5-20,
was indeed a treat for theatregoers. The festival was being
held in four venues-- Sriram Centre, Kamani Auditorium,
Abhimanch and Sanmukh and Bahumukh Auditoriums.
year, however, the festival is a scaled down affair. As
compared to the earlier years, when the productions used
to hover between 100-125, this year has only half that number
at 57, including some international productions from Bangladesh,
Russia, Pakistan, Nepal and a collaborative five-director
led Japan Foundation Asia Centre production. A few groups
have withdrawn from the festival in the wake of the Tsunami
disaster in the region.
focus of the festival is on Hindi plays from Northern India.
However, there are, in addition, other language productions.
Take, for example, "Baburnama," which is a multilingual
production. Moreover, four Bangla plays have been included
in the festival of which three are from Kolkata and the
other one by Centre for Asian Theatre (CAT) which represents
Bangladesh in the festival.
festival kicked off with the staging of "Baburnama"
(Memories of a Legend) on January 5 at Abhimanch Auditorium.
The audience, which had pinned high hopes on the play--an
autobiography of Mughal emperor Babur--came away, disappointed.
The following day, at the "Meet the Directors"
session, the five directors-Abilash, Anup, Azad, Ibrahim
and Ruwanthihad to bear criticism from the theatre experts.
Azad Abul Kalam from Bangladesh was one of the five directors.
Moreover, Emon, Jahangir and Sumi performed in three major
characters in the play.
who watched Centre for Asian Theatre's (CAT's) production
"The Lesson," written by Eugene Ionesco and directed
by Mejrema Reuter, at Kamani auditorium on January 7 last,
highly praised the production.
Biacone, a Swiss playwright as well as an International
Theatre Institute (ITI) member, said, that while he visited
Dhaka in December 2003, to take part in the drama festival
arranged by ITI of Bangladesh he saw a few quality plays.
"In fact, quality acting is a prerequisite for the
Theatre of Absurd. And the theatre troupe has got the potential.
I think they can take this production to an international
level drama festival," said Tobias.
Ram Gopal Bajaj, a theatre director and ex-director of NSD,
also spoke highly of Bangladeshi theatre. To quote Bajaj,
"I have not watched Bangladeshi theatre much. Earlier,
I saw Bhelua Shundori at the NSD festival. The
indigenous art form based play by CAT lingers in my memory.
This year, The Lesson by the same troupe impressed me as
much. Each of the performers expressed the complex psyche
of the individual character with verve."
Gouhar, the art director of Ajoka Theatre, Pakistan, was
also full of praise. She said, "I saw The Lesson
and thought it was a good production, especially the acting
of Kamaluddin Nilu. However, I would be more interested
in seeing original theatre work from Bangladesh."
more good news for CAT. It has been invited to perform "The
Lesson" in Taipei.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004