Traumatic incidents that saturate the daily news have found their way into Bengali domestic drama. Besides, not only does Oihik’s new play, Like Comment Share, bear an unusual title that indicates the human shift into cyber communication, it also departs quite radically from the conventional formulae of Bengali theatre. For these ideas, we should praise writer-director Swati Roy.

She brings together a group of middle-aged, long-lost college friends who have reestablished contact through social networking – how social such networking really is forms a peripheral concern at this stage. A reunion takes place in the home of the initiator, and we behold before us what normally transpires at these gatherings: partly fruitful, partly futile. Older people behaving silly as they try to recapture their salad days does not make a pretty sight, while some premeditated plans fall into awkwardness and resentment. Suddenly the host’s teenage son returns with a shocking confession, his mother reacts in a way that others in her situation would not, and the curtain falls. But the play ends in the lobby outside.

Roy depicts a slice of life that the cast expresses naturally: nothing happens, as drinks and conversation flow. The abrupt jump, therefore, necessitates some casual exchanges about the Net tossed around during the party so as to prepare us mentally without anticipating the climax. Curt yet highly disturbing, Like Comment Share certainly takes us unawares.

Nehru Children’s Museum steps into its 15th year as a regular young people’s theatre, grooming talent annually, with Āsray. Amit Biswas sensitizes his wards to political events around them, dramatizing Debesh Mukhopadhyay’s story about a wounded fugitive eluding the police on the Bengal-Bihar border by seeking refuge in a teacher’s house. On humanitarian grounds the family hides him and, grateful for their shelter, he in turn helps them. Jiban Saha directs the enthusiastic group of twenty-odd capably, but should resist inculcating in them the bad habits of Bengali theatre: sentimentality, overacting and cliched presentation.

(From The Telegraph, 28 April 2018)