Arijit Biswas & Prithunanadan Ghose’s Play: Priyotamasu

Playwright: Arijit Biswas & Prithunandan Ghose
Director: Prithunandan Ghose
Group: Bachhor Koori Porey, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs 15 mins

The Play
Priyotamasu is a chronicle of ten turbulent months in 1942. Set in a small mofussil town of Central India, the story is woven around a family of affluent Bengali settlers and a group of old or invalidated British officers, who are posted in that town. Away from the swirling passions of time, the two groups closely interact with each other till time overtakes them and the symbiosis is broken.

Director’s Note
Inspired from a short story by Somerset Maugham, which I read in late eighties, I couldn’t stop myself exploring how the drama in it could be brought on stage? I shared it with my childhood friend Arijit Biswas, co-playwright in this case, and asked him to read it as well. We had a series of debates on the context, the perspective and its acceptability by our viewers etc., which used to end up in tussles.

Finally, we had to change the whole of it completely, keeping only the essence of the outcome intact, and as such it took the shape of an original creation. We named it, Priyotamasu, the beloved.

A reading session was arranged for our acting and technical team who were awestruck listening to it and enjoyed all the rehearsals till it was launched on the evening of 1st June, 2019 at Gyan Manch, Kolkata.

As a Director of the play, I would not like to add any attribute, whatsoever, in favour of the play. Let the play be staged, it would be capable enough to substantiate its merit through its presentation.

The Director & Co-Playwright
Prithunandan Ghose’s approach to theatre is an amalgam of science and art. His presentations are uncanny and aesthetic owing to a background of engineering and the passion for theatre. His first group, Kathik, performed till 1977. When the group dissolved due to other professional callings for a living, he could not reconcile with his staying away from theatre. He formed Bachhor Koori Porey, which means ‘after 20 years.’ In 2015 the same compatriots, re-grouped for a sensational production, Ebong Andhokar, and in the following year for Adhora, a play scripted from a novel of Neelohit. In 2019 the group produced Priyotamasu that has been highly acclaimed. In all these plays Prithunandan has proven himself as a script-writer, lyricist, director and designer.

The Co-Playwright
Arijit Biswas, a writer of repute, is a graduate in engineering from Jadhavpur, and a post graduate in management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Despite his professional demands he found time to write plays. He has co-written two Bengali plays viz. Priyotamasu and Ebong Andhokar that have been appreciated in and around Kolkata. Another play, Uttordroho, written by him was published in 1996 issue of theatre journal, Gandharba. He has written scripts and serials in Hindi for Zee TV, and for telefilms in Bengali. He is also the script-writer for Bollywood films Agent Vinod, Badlapur and Andhadhun. Under the section of Indian Feature Films category at KIFF, 2018, he won the best director award for the Bengali film Surjo Prithibir Chardike Ghore.

The Group
After a long break the group Kathik reassembled as Bachhor Koori Porey to perform Ebong Andhokar in 2015. The play was presented at important theatre congregations, mesmerizing the audiences and critics alike. Then followed Adhora, in 2016, and after three years, in June 2019, Priyotamasu. The latter has been a much awaited and promising piece that instantly caught the discerning attention of viewers and has now been invited to perform at NSD.

Cast & Credits
Sumi                                                       Aishani De
Aloka                                                      Amrita Mukhopadhyay
Surya                                                      Dipyaman Chatterjee
Doglus                                                    Sudip Mukherjee
Parsu                                                      Kunal Sen
Mr. Mahendra Banerjee                          Biswarup Das Purakayastha
Mrs. Sarbani Banerjee                            Enakshi Sen
Nikhil                                                       Arghya Basu Roy
Bannu                                                     Navoneel Sarkar
Jayaram                                                  Rittwik Roy
Alexis                                                      Avik Das
Monroe                                                   Arijit Chakraborty
Bharat                                                     Prabir Dutta
Bearer                                                     Abhishek Ghosh Roy

Light Design                                           Badal Das
Technical Assistants                               Ranjit Das & Surajit Mandal
Keyboard                                                Krishnendu Chatterjee
Sound Projection                                    Kaushik Sajjan
Make-up Artist                                        M. M. Rahman (Md. Babu)
Costume in-charge                                 Rupa Ghose
Property in-charge                                  Sima Ghose
Accessories in-charge                            Maloy Kanti Ghose
Set in-charge                                          Avirup Maity
Shifting in-charge                                   Sthitadhi Roy
Shifter                                                     Kakoli Chakraborty
Costume Design &Stagecraft Design     Prithunandan Ghose

Playwright Arijit Biswas & Prithunandan Ghose
Co-Playwright & Director Prithunandan Ghose

Bachhor Koori Porey,
W2A(R) 12/5, Phase IV B, Golf Green,
Kolkata-700095, West Bengal
M: +91 9830390690, 9830278466

Snehasish Bhattacharyay’s Play: Anahuta

Playwright: Snehasish Bhattacharyay
Director: Sima Mukhopadhyay
Group: Samstab, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins

The Play
Nirupam Goswami, an ex-army man, who has now become an entrepreneur, is living a contented life with his wife Sujata Goswami and son Debopam Goswami, when one afternoonall of a sudden, there appears a stranger,and intruding into their house claims to be the real Nirupam Goswami, who had fought as a Major in the Dras Sector, 237 battalion, during the Kargil War. He claims that Sujata is his wife, and says that this Nirupam Goswami is actually Mainak Ghosh, who had fought under his domination in the Kargil War. Surprised and astonished by the attitude of the ‘uninvited guest’, Nirupam and Sujata struggle to fight against all odds. The case is then taken to the police, who is also taken aback, when the stranger presents proof after proof. Lawyers from both the sides look into the matter, and finally, the case reaches the court.

Director’s Note
I feel every director wants to work on a play that goes beyond its words and delves into a deeper philosophy of life. Anahuta (The Uninvited) compelled me to look within me while presenting it on the stage. The known tactics of executing plays went topsy-turvy while working on Anahuta. The more I faced these challenges the more I felt zealous about it. Not only was it me but the actors too went through all these challenges while playing their parts. In fact, the different selves that inhabit our being remain, for the most part of our lives, unknown, unrecognized and uninvited to the fore. When these selves come to the fore and confront us, the familiarity with life vanishes instantly. Everything legal and illegal, true and false, the victorious and the defeated, stand on an unstable ground.Here, in this play, we too have faced something unknown and been on a journey with it. That the journey of life is the only truth is what our team has tried to present through this play on stage.

The Director
Sima Mukhopadhyay (born 5 December 1959) is a director, playwright and actor from Kolkata. She made her stage debut as a child artiste with M.G. Enterprise, a professional theatre ensemble. She received Master’s Degree in Drama (Acting) from Rabindra Bharati University in 1985. At present she heads Rangroop. As an actress Sima has acted in productions directed by eminent directors, beside her own. She has written twelve full-length plays, and six short-length plays for children. Besides the ones written by her,Sima has directed works of Rabindranath Tagore, Oscar Wilde, TriptiMitra, Arthur Arbuzov, and many other world renowned writers. She is a recipient of Senior Fellowship from HRD Ministry for the year 2002, Ritwik Ghatak Smriti Puraskar, Paschim Banga Natya Akademi award, Dishari Puraskar, Kalakar Award, Bengal Shrachi Award, and Anukul Samman.

The Playwright
Dr.Snehasis Bhattacharyya, started his journey as a playwright with Swapnoparosh which was staged by Natyaranga theatre group in 2011. After that, he was selected in the International Playwrights’ Workshop held the same year with the playwrights of West Bengal and Bangladesh, andthe Cultural Ministry of India. He is also an actor and has performed many plays for Bangla theatre.

The Group
Samstab was formed in 1982 under guidance of Guru Sri Dwijen Bandyopadhyay. Its first production was Abhimukh, a poetic play written by Shri Navendu Sen and staged in 1983. The group has tried to encourage new, and not-too-well-known playwrights too. With Naak, Kalpomon and Dhuni Stambha, we introduced a new author Kajal Sengupta and also produced Sokratiser Jabanbandi by Dr. Sisir Kumar Das, which was later telecast through Kolkata Doordarshan.

Cast & Credits
Stranger                 Sanjib Sarkar
Sujata                     Amrita Mukherjee
Nirupam                  Susnata Bhattacharjyay
Police Officer          Srikanta Manna
Yudhistir                  Parthasarathi Chandra
Menoka                   Kankabati Bandyopadhyay
Prasenjit                  Ashish Mazumder
Raghabendra          Parthasarathi Sengupta
Peon                        Sanjoy Das

Light                        Badal Das
Music                      Disari Chakraborty
Set Design              Sandipsuman Bhattacharjya
Sound                      Pinaki Mukherjee

Playwright               Snehasish Bhattacharyay
Director                   Sima Mukhopadhyay

Director, Samstab
37B, Pratapaditya Road, Kolkata- 700026
Ph: 033-23469492
M: +91 9830302351