Archive Category: 2018

RANI KADAMBINI | MRITYUNJAY

Nandikar’s new productions showcased at their National Festival find their directorial mantle resting on Sohini Sengupta’s capable shoulders, with a social consciousness spanning the history of female emancipation and sensitivity to the differently-abled. But their exhibition on women performers embarrassed with numerous factual errors. Swatilekha Sengupta renders sterling service against

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BIJANER CHAR DEOYAL | MANASCHAURYAM | JALJYANTA

Bengali plays by writers active two or three decades ago are seeing revivals now. Dipendra Sengupta, perhaps best known for Gābbu Khelā, composed Bijaner Chār Deoyāl in 1984 as an embittered drama about a young man who feels cabined by the cruelty of family, society and the whole world. Today,

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STORIES IN A SONG | THE GLASS MENAGERIE

Two of Mumbai’s long-running English productions visited Birla Sabhagar recently. The revue Stories in a Song, by Arpana and Underscore Records, not only boasted an original concept of playlets contextualizing old Hindi songs, but featured thorough research by Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan, as well as exceptional live singing by

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RAKTAKALYAN | TUGHLAQ

Girish Karnad’s best-known political dramas prove their continuing relevance in faithful Bengali productions. Does mankind learn anything from historical precedents? Of course not. But that should not deter groups from trying, disturbed by history repeating itself. As Aparna Dharwadker says about the two plays reviewed, “to understand the present one

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KOJAGARI | VAIJAYANTIKA

Once again, a new and unknown troupe has surprised me with an alarming, powerful production that restores faith in Bengali theatre’s future and makes a critic’s life worth living. Shoulder to shoulder, an established older group takes an equally brave stand on the same issue. Belghoria Abhimukh’s Kojāgari adapts a

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GAYNAR BAKSA | KHANDAHAR

With International Women’s Day still within short-term recall, it seems relevant to spotlight two current all-female Bengali plays, each featuring nine actresses, making them rare productions in Bengali theatre. Both originate in familiar texts, but innovate to varying degrees. The big surprise in Baghajatin Alap’s Gaynār Bāksa lies in the

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MAIMANSINGHA GITIKA | BUKJHIM EK BHALOBASA

The Maimansingha Gitikā (more accurately Palagan, the performance genre to which they belong), form the source for two invigorating Bengali productions. Naye Natuya’s eponymously-titled show has even made it to the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, Delhi, next week, the lone Kolkata group to reach the finals. Maimansingha Gitikā is

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THE SQUARE ROOT OF A SONNET | SHIKHANDI

Original Indian drama in English offered two excellent visiting exemplars recently, their content and style at completely opposite poles. Nilanjan Choudhury’s The Square Root of a Sonnet, by Centre for Film and Drama (Bengaluru), brings science to the popular ken in ways that recall Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen and Complicité’s A

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LIKE COMMENT SHARE | ASRAY

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

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