Coverage By Kathakali Sengupta
Sabhaghar Theatre Festival, presented by Centre Stage Creations brought to the City of Joy a great panorama of the best of World Theatre. It was a 3 – day- long show of great stagecraft from 10th to 13th December , 2016 at GD Birla Sabhaghar Themed on ‘ Celebrating World Theatre’ , it showcased workshops and performances by UK actor and director Daniel Bye, Lillete Dubey and Gautam Halder. We were fortunate enough to watch Gautam Halder’s performance in Prachya’s play ‘ Nileema’ , directed by Biplab Bandyopadhyay on the last evening of the show.
It was a satire inspired by famous playwright Eugene Ionesco’s play ‘ The Lesson’ which was a perfect critique of contemporary education system. Much in sync with Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘ Totakahini’, the play presented a weird professor’s obsession with making the student understand everything she wants and does not want to know.
His obsession with teaching does not end even when the student is on her deathbed. The play also presented the student’s imaginary escape from reality which she can only dream of. Interestingly enough the characters of the students, both during the play and at the end are female characters, much realistically representing the sexual oppression that female students face nowadays from their male professors.
At the end, the autocratic professor’s murder of the student and again setting another prey for his obsession, marks a great end of the day. Last but not the least, the supporting group of actors dressed as clowns act as the inner conscience of a person’s soul and also maintain a parallelism of every action.
The Sabhagar Theatre Festival indeed gave all the theatre lovers of Kolkata to usher in some splendid performances. Hope it comes along every year with a new mood and some more thrilling theatrical acts to look forward to.