Mymensingh Geetika Theatre Festival
150th show of Sonai Madhab staged at Shilpakala
Noted theatre troupe Loko Natyadal (Banani) staged the 150th show of one of its acclaimed plays Sonai Madhab on Friday evening at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. To celebrate the 150th show of the production, the troupe has organised a six-day theatre festival, which will feature six plays based on Mymensingh Geetika, a collection of folk ballads of the Mymensingh region. The festival began at the same venue on Thursday with Dasyu Kenaramer Pala, directed by Rasel Rana and staged by Theatre Department of Jahangirnagar University.
For Loko Natyadal (Banani), this was an occasion to celebrate as this was perhaps the first time that any play based on Mymensingh Geetika by any local troupe saw its 150th show.
Sonai Madhab is one of the 10 ballads of Mymensingh Geetika, and it bears all characteristics of a ballad. It is woman-centric, it is presented through songs, and it is what can be called a romance that ends with a tragedy.
The play focuses mostly on the woes of Sonai, a rural, fatherless girl brought up by her maternal uncle. How society strangles Sonai’s love for Madhab is presented in the traditional pala form.
In its presentation, Loko Natyadal combined traditional panchali and jatra. Although a woman-centric play, there was no female artiste in the production and all female roles were enacted by male artistes.
Kamrun Noor Chaudhury, Zahid Chowdhury, Khairul Alam Tipu, Hafizur Rahman enacted the main characters for the play.
Earlier, Bivas Chakraborty, noted theatre activist from India, inaugurated the festival on Thursday. Ramendu Majumdar, world-wide president of International Theatre Institute (ITI), was present at the festival as chief guest. Nasiruddin Yousuff, president of Bangladesh section of ITI; Akhtaruzzaman, general secretary of Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation; and theatre personality Jhuna Chowdhury also attended the inauguration ceremony as special guests.
Today Shikor Natya Sampraday (Kisoreganj) will stage Chandrabati at the same venue. Other plays to be staged in the festival are Natyadhara’s Ayna Bibir Pala on Sunday, Jahangirnagar University Theatre troupe’s Mohua on Monday and Natyateertha’s Kamola Sundori on Tuesday. All plays will be staged at 7pm.
-With New Age input