Rakesh Ghosh’s Play: Upal Bhaadury… Tale of a Dead Star


Playwright & Director: Rakesh Ghosh
Group: Dum Dum Shabdomugdho Naatyokendra, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 1 hr 50 mins

The Play
Upal Bhaadury…Tale of a Dead Star is based on the life of a living legend Sri Chapal Bhaduri. He is a renowned female impersonator in Bengali Jatra. As a teenager, after the death of his mother, Chapal Bhaduri came to perform in Jatra for the purpose of raising money due to severe poverty. His voice was girlish, so he got a chance to play female roles. For this, he had to endure humiliation by the society. After a while, Chapal Bhaduri became ‘Chapal Rani’. Gradually he became a popular actor and a star of Jatra world. But the moment female artists joined the Jatra, Chapal Rani was rejected. The ‘rani’ began to work as a servant in households for survival. In exchange for a little money, he started singing bhajans in front of the temples, slums and streets of Kolkata. Someone from theatre saw his performance and gave him an opportunity to perform in theatre. According to Chapal, Jatra has given him money, but theatre has given him respect. Chapal Bhaduri has played the role of Upal Bhaduri in this play.

Director’s Note
What does a creative artiste desire? He wants wealth, fame, honour. But all of these become insubstantial at a certain point in his life. What drives him relentlessly is an intense desire to create exquisite art. This drive gives him fulfilment, guiding him to explore new horizons in his creativity.
Upal Bhaadury…Tale of a Dead Star is not just a play, but also the journey of an actor who has devoted his life to art. His life is a tutorial to be followed not only by actors but by artists from any field. The play takes on a complex, layered and nuanced meaning, stirring up in its vortex all the intricate shades of love, dependence, endearment, affection, desire, illusion and… betrayal. It is a strange conflict between the flesh and the spirit, the performing body and the soul, the inner workings of the artiste’s mind and its manifestation in performance.
I felt the importance of making the audience aware of this forgotten ‘rani’ or ‘diva’ of Bengali theatre, and bring him again into limelight when he is in his 80’s, when he is all alone staying in an old age home in his last days. It is a tribute to our beloved Jatra-diva Chapal Rani.

The Director & Playwright
Rakesh Ghosh is a professional playwright, director & actor for theatre, television & films. In the beginning, he joined Dwandik, a Howrah based theatre group & performed in its plays. He also worked with the theatre group Natadha. In 2006 he formed his own theatre group Shabdomugdho for which he writes and directs plays. Rakesh has worked with legendary theatre personalities. He has worked under Sri Manoj Mitra. His group had been selected for National Theatre Festival organized by State Govt. of West Bengal in 2017 & 2019. Rakesh Ghosh has worked as a writer and assistant director for television serials and films. He has also acted in short films, television serials & telefilms. Presently he is working with Star Jalsa as a story developer and script writer.

The Group
Dum Dum Shabdomugdho Naatyokendra was established in the year 2006. The organization has produced 16 contemporary productions till date and has performed all over West Bengal, in the 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, and at 4th National Theatre Festival 2018 organized by Minerva Natasanskriti Charcha Kendra, Natya Mela.

Cast & Credits
Upal Bhaadury Chapal Bhaduri
Gour Mohan Rakesh Ghosh
Madhab Pradip Roy
Pratap Jayesh Laha
Masterji Nilanjan Saha
Chorus Aninda Roy, Prasenjit Kundu, Raja Rajbhar, Abhijit Dutta, Rahul Roy, Abhi Banerjee, Barnali Roy Chowdhury, Sampreeti Chakraborty, Priyanka Das, Pampa Goswami, Ranjan Bose

Light Design Debabrat Sarkar
Scenography Atanu Sarkar
Music Recording & Mixing Abhijit Acharya & Jagmohan Singh
Make-up SK Israfil
Costume Ranjan Bose
Sound Operator Bandan Mishra
Art Setup Manindra Bera
Vocals Ranjan Bose, Abhijit Acharya, Prakriti Dutta, Jagmohan Singh

Playwright & Director Rakesh Ghosh

Dum Dum Shabdomugdho Naatyokendra
F-26/5, Karunamoyee Housing Estate
Salt Lake City, Kolkata- 700091
M: +91 9830174823, 7044237333, 9339538902
E: dumdum.shabdomugdho@gmail.com

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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