From Assam with Love is about all aspects of Assam from the viewpoint of a Proud Assamese.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

One evening at Kohinoor Theatre, some memories and few questions


Is there security inside the mobile theatres of Assam? Do the Theatre companies compromise on the quality to pay for star actors? Do the theatres experiment on the dramatic techniques and drama as a literary genre as a a whole? Or should there be any kind of regulation regarding the content of the plays since theatres are widely watched by people of all age group? These are questions often surfaces during the mobile theatre season i.e, during the year-end. Usually from the first weeks of November to the late Feb it is time for the mobile theatre parties to move around the state playing their best rehearsed, best accepted and best put forward plays along with of course star power to boast of.

It has been long since I (many of my age, am sure) have watched Theatres. Memories of watching  'Phoolan Devi' as a child along with the cousins in  bone-shivering December nights and getting goosebumps was really a memory of lifetime. In those days squeezing out a permission to go the theatre was a huge task though later we realized tickets were already kept purchased!  At that age we never liked the social or thoughtful kind of plays. Theatre companies used to get star ranks for action and melodramas. Perhaps that is the standard for the strata of theatre-goer who earns the actual revenue for the mobile theatre companies who often play critical role in deciding the type of plays.

Then came the gimmick era of the late nineties and this somehow push the serious drama lovers to a certain distance. As a pubic entertainment actually theatre must follow populist taste and it is one of the survival trick of Assamese theatre as a popular entertainment medium.

Anyways, this time chiefly because  Kohinoor happens to be one of the most celebrated mobile Theatre groups of Assam we ventured out to for a play. The play was Akashar Dore Man by playwright Hemant Dutta. The play was so-so, a kind of having everything, but the play stood out for good perfomance from almost every artiste, especially Tapan Das, the gem of Kahinoor Theatre. There was time when many people including myself did not like Tapan Das as as an actor for his methodical kind of acting. But over the time the seaoned actor has became more natural at stage. It was Tapan Das's performance which was most paisa wasool aspect of the play on the beginning day here at our place. Audience were seen going gaga over the performance of the actor.  In fact the Devadas(adapted for mobile theatre by renowned playwright Abhijit Bhattacharya ) the next days attraction too was a crowd puller because of the actor also. Munmi Phukon, young and beautiful is also surely was cynosure of all eyes.


One more question arises in the mind. Over the time Mobile theatre (known as Bhramyomaan Theatre) has acquired  a revered status, because of their professionalism and  for the kind of support they are providing to the artistes, actors and actresses of Assam especially through the low phase. But are they playing any attention the need of the audiences who has supported Bhramyomaan through the thick and thin? Because still the age-old plastic chairs without handles for all price-range and without gap in between. I may sound like a snob but I feel that many feel and expect some kind of comfort in theatre viewing. Since I believe that things will definitely improve when people ask for that.


P.S: Ratan Lahkar, the iconic Theatre personality of Assam who was the founder of Kahinoor Theatre and his life was discussed in a book by some Alex Figo namely Long Machi. The title was not so legible in the poorl projection. Since I have not collected it yet, I hope someone who has read the book will step out to leave a comment on the book.




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