Theatre festival on Liberation War ends
The five-day theatre festival featuring plays on the Liberation War ended on July 14. The festival, which featured 10 plays by reputed troupes from Dhaka, was inaugurated on July 9 and was held at the National Theatre Hall and Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. On the last day, Theatre Art Unit staged “Court Martial” at the National Theatre Hall.
The festival, organised by Theatre Art Unit, had two goals. To celebrate the 50th show of its 10th production “Shomoyer Proyojoney” as well as to generate further awareness among people in the trial of war criminals.
“I hope that this initiative will turn into a success considering the emotions and awareness we are able to create among the spectators,” said Rokeya Rafique Baby, chief of Theatre Art Unit.
“Court Martial” is Theatre Art Unit's first production. The play is perhaps the troupe's most successful and popular production, as it was the 181st staging at the National Theatre Hall.
SM Solaiman had adapted “Court Martial” from Salil Sarkar's translation of Indian playwright Swades Dipak's work. Solaiman was also the director of the play. After his demise, Mohammad Bari has been directing the play.
The play confronts the audience with a question: is it possible for human beings to avoid inherent jealousy or cruelty? In “Court Martial” the playwright has tried to find out the truth from the most disciplined institution of a nation -- the army.
“Court Martial” is based on a sensitive issue -- the plight of the offspring of the biranganas and the assimilation of the children of the Pakistani collaborators into the society after the Liberation War.
In the play, Colonel Rabbi sentences a soldier, Akbar, the son of a Birangana, to death. Akbar killed an officer and injured Major FA Khan for making derogatory remarks about his mother. Major Mahmud defends Akbar's case and tries to prove that his killer instinct was aroused due to constant mental torture.
Mohammad Bari, Selim Mahbub, Prashanta Haldar, Chandan Reza and Ezad played the lead roles. Hemayet Hossain Tapan and Thandu Raihan are the set and light designers of the play.
As part of the festival, Mahakal Natyasampraday staged “Ghum Nei” at the Experimental Theatre Hall on the same day. The play is an adaptation of Nasiruddin Yousuff's novel with the same title. Guerrilla operations during the Liberation War have been presented dramatically in the play. John Martin has dramatised and directed “Ghum Nei.”
Apart from Theatre Art Unit, popular troupes such as Prachyanat, Theatre, Udichi and Nagarik Natyangan staged their plays at the festival.
An exhibition featuring posters and photographs was held at the lobby of National Theatre Hall.