The maiden Bangladesh International Theatre Festival 2019, organised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), International Theatre Institute (Bangladesh Centre) and Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation, is underway at BSA. Eight troupes from seven countries -- France, India, Russia, China, Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – are staging various plays at the festival.
The Chorus Repertory Theatre (Imphal, Manipur, India) staged William Shakespeare’s masterpiece Macbeth on June 21.
Internationally renowned Indian playwright and theatre director Ratan Thiyam brought the production on stage for an older audience. The 105-minute production was presented in Manipuri language. Somo donned the role of Macbeth, while Chingkheinganbi enacted the role of Lady Macbeth. Robindro as Banquo, Rocky as Duncan and Premjit as Macduff were among others to portray different roles in the play.
French troupe Théâtre de Vidy Lausanne and the Young Vic London staged the play Oh My Sweet Land on the same day. Conceived by Corinne Jaber, the playwrights and directors are Amir Nizar Zuabi and Corinne Jaber.
In the play, a woman is cooking Kebbe, a classical Syrian dish, obsessively in her kitchen and trying to come to terms with what she saw during her trip to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, while looking for her lost lover. Actor Corinne Jaber performed on stage, while Nicolas Chorier was on technical support.
Mymensingh-based troupe Anwesha Theatre staged a show of its folk-themed production Joytun Bibir Pala, following their traditional narrative style at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on June 22.
The pala, written and directed by Sayik Siddiqi, depicted the conflict between the haves and the have-nots and sufferings of women in patriarchal society through story of Joytun Bibi.
A seminar on the title ‘Meeting and Transmitting of the International, National and Sub-altern in the Theatre Space’ was held at the seminar room of the National Theatre Hall on June 22. Renowned Indian theatre researcher Anshuman Bhowmick, Vietnamese theatre personality Dr. Chua Soo Pong, renowned Bangladeshi thespians Ramendu Majumdar, Mannan Hira, Kamal Uddin Kabir and Zahid Reepon, renowned writer-researcher Mafidul Haque, filmmaker Ashish Khandker and dancer Pooja Sengupta spoke at the seminar. Professor Abdus Selim delivered the concluding speech at the seminar while Nasiruddin Yousuff, president of ITI (Bangladesh Centre) presided over the programme. Eminent Indian playwright and director Ratan Thiyam conducted a wonderful masterclass on the second day of the festival.
Johoo Theatre (China) staged their play F CK at the National Theatre Hall on June 23. Mandala Theatre (Nepal) and Le Ngoc Theatre (Vietnam) will stage their play Jhyalincha (Dragonfly) and Kim Tu (adapted from The Wilderness) at 7 pm at the main auditorium of BSA on June 24 and 25 respectively. The festival will end on June 26 with the Nikolai Zykov Theatre (Russia) staging their production Light Puppet Show at the same venue at 7 pm.