May 23, 2010 (CalcuttaTube): On the event of Ponchishe Baisakh, the entire state celebrated Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th birthday, and the city’s theatre going audience was entertained by plays in tribute to the great poet. One such – Rabindranath’s “Chirakumar Sabha” – one of the delightfully humorous of Tagore’s creations, was being staged by Chetana. Read the drama review by Anirban De at CalcuttaTube.
The story starts at the meet of Chirakumar Sabha, a bachelor establishment founded by the aged and absent-minded Chandramadhav Babu with a handful of followers who took the oath of maintaining bachelorhood and working for the nation’s cause. But their attempt to maintain the sanctity of bachelorhood seemed to be under threat by the recent turn of events. It started with the smart and romantic Akhsay Mukherjee, the previous president of the club, who not only estranged himself from the organization by tying knots with Purabala but was hatching a plot to pull the other two ostensibly sincere members, Srish and Bipin, out from the marital restraint of the association. In this plot he was helped by his widowed sister-in-law Sailabala and the aged Rasikdada, the wise and sharp witted well wisher of Akshay’s in-laws. The wise and fearless Saila took membership of Chirakumarsabha in the guise of a young man named Abalakanta and Rasikdada, truly a confirmed bachelor, too joined the organization. Akshay, meanwhile, managed to shift the Sabha’s headquarters from Chandramdhav Babu’s home to his own residence. The situation was made more vulnerable by the chance meeting of Srish and Bipin with Akshay’s other two unmarried sister-in-laws, Nripabala and Nirabala. They seemed to be completely smitten by the sisters and coaxed Rasikdada and Abalakanta in delivering their amorous messages through to them. Two new members also joined the Sabha, the first one being Purna Babu who seemed to be enamoured by Chandra Babu’s niece Nirmala. The other one was Nirmala herself, who, sincere to his uncle’s objectives, persuaded him to include her in the association and thus unknowingly made it easier for Purna to come closer to her. But the problem with Purna was his lack of confidence that proved to be the greatest obstacle in his approach towards Nirmala. So he too sought help of Rasikdada but was reserved in his correspondence with Abalakanta, whom he not only mistook for a man like the other members but was also frustrated in observing Nirmala in close companionship with Abala. All these confusions was sure to make matters increasingly complex save for Rasikdada who always seemed to manipulate the situations to get the prospective couples back to the right track.
The drama is full of witty dialogues and clever play of words and throughout the entire one hour and forty five minutes of performance there is not a chance for the audience to feel bored at all. The well-chosen background scores, from various Rabindrasangeet, deserves mention for their careful selection. In this point, Nagen Dutta and Kalyan Chakrabarty’s sound engineering deserves praise as do the voice of Kajali Ghosh. Rabi Ghosh’s make up and Sangeeta Pal’s costume design brought back the romance of the old-fashioned Bengal and Arun Mukhopadhyay should be congratulated not only for his performance as Chandra Babu but also for the all round performance of the entire unit.
As to the acting, Pradip Chakrabarty tops the list with his measured but amusing characterisation of Rasikdada and Sohini Sarkar’s selection for the role of Sailabala was just perfect. Dipankar Haldar as Akhshay carries on his part flawlessly and Paramita Maitra Halder and Bahni Chakrabarty superbly complimented each other in their appearances as Nripabala and Nirabala. Suman Nandy (Purna), Sabyasachi Dasgupta (Srish) and Anirban Chakravarty (Bipin) too were correct choices for their parts but the character of Nirmala, done by Sangeeta Pal, seemed to need more time for evolution.