For the very first time, “Purber Natyagatha,” a week-long festival focusing on Bangladeshi theatre and writers began in Salt Lake City, Kolkata's Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre. The festival kicked off on June 21. Eminent politician Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, director, actor, and politician Bratya Basu, actor Kaushik Sen and Towfiq Hasan from Deputy High Commission of Bangladesh in Kolkata were present at the inauguration. Sovanden Chattopadhyay, who was the chief guest of the programme, said that Bangladesh has a beautiful and enriching relationship with the neighbouring India. He hopes that the cultural relations between the two countries will become stronger in the coming years. Bratya Basu was honoured with an award at the programme. The festival began with Jasimuddin's ballad saga Maimansingha Gitika. Plays based on Syed Shamsul Haque's poem Nuruldiner Sharajibon and Syed Waliullah's novel, Lalsalu, were also staged subsequently. Groups from Sirajganj and Dhaka's Shobdo Nattyacharcha Kendro also gave captivating performances at the programme. The festival will come to a close with on June 28 with a performance of a play on Hellen Keller by Shopnodol of Dhaka.