Producer: Riddho Roy

Dramatist-director: Debopriya Bhattacharya



Group: Nitya Natya

Source: Tarak Rej

Dramatization-direction: Atanu Chatterjee


It always encourages to see young groups working imaginatively. The yet-unnamed creators of Necropolis staged their third performance of this play, though it goes back nine years to dramatist-director Debopriya Bhattacharya’s college days. It seems more relevant today, 75 years after Orwell wrote 1984, its “three inmates … stuck in the machinations of the all-powerful Bardā.” From another perspective, it looks like Evam Indrajit set in a sci-fi lab. Bhattacharya proves himself a good writer of crisp, trilingual (Bengali, English, Hindi) dialogue, but he must cultivate the virtue of editing, for at 150 minutes it clocks at least a half hour too long.

The impressionistic structure, in scenes artistically designed by Riddho Roy and Bhattacharya, follows yuppies mired in a deadening routine dictated by higher-ups and under surveillance, while love surfaces as possible salvation. Roy curates a select soundtrack including Stevie Wonder (“Part-time Lover” is apt) and the Eagles, and features very good live vocals by Sashreek Ganguly. Everyone acts at a surprisingly near-professional level, Eliza Zaman standing out with the most sustained characterization.


Nitya Natya, in Patuli, put up their first full-length production, Lāsh, dramatized from a short story by Tarak Rej and directed by Atanu Chatterjee. It shows two poverty-stricken sisters in a Pathar Pratima village who cannot get any work other than the grisly occupation of transporting corpses from the local thana to the morgue. Without male family members, they become the target of predators—a bleak picture of rural Bengal. An unemployed graduate wanted for a crime hides in the neighbourhood; circumstances bring them together to face the police and strongmen.

Chatterjee directs his novice cast well, gaining competent acting from Maumita Ghosh, Dishani Bhattacharya (the sisters) and Raju Khan (the outsider). He makes the team represent various locations by the simple procedure of reassembling tables of different heights into permutations and combinations. Greater training and experience should help Nitya Natya mature into more original theatre.


18 June 2024