I have been performing 'Circus Circus' for over 24 years: Rahul Ananda
Avid theatre activist and renowned musician Rahul Ananda is set to come back to the stage with the play "Circus Circus" today at the Ganga Jamuna Cultural fest 2021. Performed by his theatre troupe Prachyanat, the production will be staged today at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Rahul Ananda, who is the music director of the production, will also be seen playing the role of Shamsu in the play.
In a candid chat with The Daily Star, multi-instrumentalist musician and front-man Joler Gaan shares his journey with theatre, how "Circus Circus" has shaped up his being over the years and more.
Tell us a bit about the production "Circus Circus" and your association with this production.
I have been performing "Circus Circus" for over 24 years now. I still remember when we had first decided to craft a production based on the circus culture of Bangladesh. We were really young back then and this production had a rather different story of its being.
We used to visit various circuses in Manikganj, Savar and Aricha Ghaat after our hall rehearsals everyday. After carefully observing their performances, we used to spend a lot of time with them just to observe their personality and behavior. That's how we had prepared for this production over two decades ago.
What role will you be seen this time in "Circus Circus"?
I started by playing the role of Narayan, a character the society often terms as 'feminine'. While playing this role, I was more into projrcting his struggles for his behavior and orientation, his hopes and his sorrows.
This time, I will be seen playing the role of Shamsu, a caretaker of a shrine. This character is completely in contrast to Narayan as Shamsu is selfish and only believes in self gains.
While Narayan used to be a neglected soul, performing 'women's jobs', Shamsu is always looking to maximize economic outcomes in any circumstances.
How has your journey been from an actor to a musician?
I started off as an actor and I believe that I have to absorb the emotions, personality and ideology of each character I choose to play.
Theatre has been my growth podium, both as an actor and as a musician as giving live music in one take to a live audience was challenging and very exciting at the same time. I believe, one has to fall in love with the character they ought to play to perfect it.
Joler Gaan has been releasing amazing music during this pandemic. Are you looking forward to live concerts anytime soon?
As artistes, I look to contributing to the restoring the mental health of my listeners as I believe the psychological trauma caused by the coronavirus pandemic will last longer within us than the social, economic or cultural downfall.
Through our musical series "Oboruddho Diner Gaan", we wanted to emotionally connect to my listeners who were undergoing the same challenges that we were. Through our compositions like "Salute" we wanted to encourage the frontliners as we were able to remain safe indoors while they risked their lives to serve us.
It has been months since I had performed on the stage and I am really excited to We are in talks for some shows and hope to blaze the stage soon.