Alok Roychowdhury

Sayak staged their recent production ‘Dhrubatara’ [Pole Star] at Madhusudan Mancha on June 7, 2013. It was their 21st show in a span of few months. Given the moribund condition of Group Theatre Movement in Bengal, it was not altogether a discouraging feat.

The drama evolves around Ritwik, the prime character who is an environmental scientist of high profile. He is always pricked by conscience as to how to resist the wanton destruction of nature in the name of development.

Ritwik was in love with Mallika, the daughter of his school teacher in his youth. But his family being a conservative one didn’t approve the love affairs. He had to find solace in an arranged marriage and settle in the city.

Mallika too got married elsewhere. But the happy days didn’t last long. Mallika’s in-laws drove her out when it was revealed that she was carrying someone else’s baby.

Faced with a difficult situation Mallika finally landed in a brothel where Ritwik was a regular visitor. Mallika gave birth to a female child Erabati who was brought up with utmost care. Erabati didn’t know her father’s identity, to her Ritwik was an uncle. This much she knew.

To his society Ritwik’s mental health was questioned. In the end he brought the truth—the extra-marital relationship with Mallika, before her marriage—like a Pole Star—‘Dhrubatara’.

Director Meghnad Bhattacharya could have shown a few drunkards in the brothel to make it natural. At Ritwik’s house where they were discussing environmental crisis, they could have made the discussion more lively and relevant by elaborating the recent Uttarakhand disaster. As for lighting, the less said the better. It was miserable. The present reviewer thinks in addition to Bade Gulam Ali’s famous song, some other forms of rag and ragini could have been judiciously used. Sound system was not good as voice was not audiable even on the 7th row. One hopes Sayak would be able to stage a better production next time by plugging the technical loopholes.

Vol. 46, No. 3, Jul 28-Aug 3, 2013

Your Comment if any