Mamunur Rashid, Chanchal and A K M Hasan reunite for Rarang’s 200th
Mamunur Rashid has written many plays for his own drama group, Aranyak Natyadal, throughout his illustrious career. He has also directed several plays for the stage as well. Among them, one of his most successful plays, which he has both written and directed, is "Rarang".
The first show of "Rarang" took place back in 2004. Now, the 200th show of the play will take place today, November 18. Originally, Chanchal Chowdhury, one of the most popular actors of the current era, acted in the first show of "Rarang", back when he was in university. Today, the actor will once again be taking to the stage to act in the 200th show of the play.
In addition to writing and directing the "Rarang", Mamunur Rashid also plays a special role in the play. The play has been shown various districts of Bangladesh. So popular was this play, that it has also been staged several countries, receiving widespread praise, both domestically and abroad.
Speaking about the success of "Rarang" Mamunur Rashid said, "This play was staged in six international festivals. This has been a great success for both the Aranyak Natyadal and Bangladeshi theatre. It is also a pleasure for me, as the writer and director, to see my play achieve such success."
The play was also staged in South Korea, where it received an impressive response from the audience. "Rarang" would also go on to receive widespread praise after being staged in India's Kerala, Baharampur and Kolkata.
"Rarang" is the first play in Bangladesh, to be written about the indigenous community. Following the assassination of Alfred Soren in 2001, protests took place all over the country. A large protest was organised in Naogaon, where the murder had taken place. Mamunur Rashid was invited to this protest.
At that time, the Santal community gifted Mamunur Rashid a bow and arrow. Afterwards, Rashid spent many years researching the incident, eventually writing "Rarang" as a result.
Talking about the incident, Rashid said, "I spent four years researching the situation. Several times, I would visit the Santal village over there, to increase my learnings. That's how I would write the play."
"After being gifted the bow and arrow, I immediately decided to write a play about Alfred Soren. This initiative was what actually helped get it done. I hope that through this play, more people now know about Soren. The first show of 'Rarang' took place at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy," continued Mamunur Rashid.
Recalling the memories of the first show, Rashid seemed to become emotional. He shared how he had felt overwhelmed by the response from the audience in that first show.
"The audience showed us so much love that day," said Rashid.
"It took 18 years to do the 200th show. I could have done it earlier. There are not enough halls. Besides, COVID-19 also did a lot of damage. Still, I am overjoyed at the fact that I am being able to do the 200th show of 'Rarang'," said Rashid.
"More and more people are learning about the Santal community through this play. They are getting to know how this community was destroyed and deprived. The history of how they have had to fight for their lives is also showcased in 'Rarang'. This, I believe, is the ultimate achievement of a writer," shared Rashid.
Chanchal Chowdhury acted in the first show of "Rarang", and now he will be acting in the 200th show. In the play, he takes on the role of a daroga. After a gap of almost two years, he is finally returning to this play.
In response to his return, Chanchal said, "This play is much talked about and I received a lot of love by acting in it. It's one of my favourite plays and I am so glad to be able to be a part of the 200th show."