Nov 3, 2010: Theatre personality Gautam Haldar talks about his theatre group Naye Natua, its journey, challenges, his acting, current plays and more. Haldar will be seen in Bratya Basu’s Bengali film ‘Tara’ starring Prasenjit, Paoli Dam, Tota Ray Chowdhury and others that is all set to release this weekend. Read the interview exclusive with actor, director Gautam Haldar at CalcuttaTube.
CalcuttaTube: Please share the journey of Naye Natua?
Gautam Haldar: It started about three years back. We are doing a lot of shows in different cities of India and abroad. I recently went to Los Angeles to perform in Meghnad Badh Kabya. We are trying hard to do our best. Doing theatre is a difficult task itself.
In Naye Natuya we do a lot training, workshops.
CalcuttaTube: What challenges do a new theatre group faces?
Gautam Haldar: The first challenge is to do stage new plays. I redesigned ‘Meghnad Badh Kabya’, ‘Bod Da’, even though they are old productions. ‘Missed Call’ is a new production.
Then we do different training programs, read multiple plays from different literature and make others read too. We also give training to old young and older folks in our training center. We train freshemen as well as folks who have some background.
But doing good theatre is the biggest challenge of all. It is not just a financial challenge. There are many financially strong theatre groups, who do not do good work. You will see instances all over the world. Many smaller groups with lesser finance do much better theatre. Just like, necessity is the mother of invention; poverty is the mother of innovation.
Naye Natua is doing great because of the viewers. All our shows have got full house. Our group is run by the money we earn at different shows. So far, we have not got any grants.
CalcuttaTube: Do the training programs help financially?
Gautam Haldar: Not really. Most of the trainings are free of cost. We get token money in some cases. But it is not substantial.
CalcuttaTube: When you perform abroad or in other parts of India, who are your audiences?
Gautam Haldar: It depends on which place I perform. There is a mixed audience. There can be foreigners.
CalcuttaTube: Can language be a barrier?
Gautam Haldar: If it is good theatre, and not too much text dependent, then language will not be a barrier. Audiences respond to the language of theatre itself. When I see a play in some other language, I can tell what the play is about from the acting. It definitely is an advantage if you know the language of the play, but language is not a hindrance.
Acting is not always dependent on speech. In good acting, three out of four parts remain unspoken and the rest is speech.
CalcuttaTube: Please share something about your acting.
Gautam Haldar: I recently worked in Bratya Basu’s upcoming Bengali film ‘Tara’. It is a new character. It is quite an experience for me to work with Bratya. I loved it.
CalcuttaTube: Is acting in theatre more challenging than in films?
Gautam Haldar: No. Acting has to be either challenging or easy. The only difference is in the frame and distance with audience. In a film, your distance with audience differs depending on the camera’s point of view. On stage, I calculate the distance from the audience with my perception, idea and imagination. But from the point of genuineness, acting both on stage and in films are equal.
My acting in ‘Missed Call’ and ‘Bod Da’ are totally different. In ‘Bod Da’, I have used a combination of theatre and cinematography. So I have to do both theatre acting and film acting simultaneously. The only difference is in the frame. In the film’s live projection parts, the acting varies, the movements change.
In ‘Missed Call’ it is only acting. There are no sets, we act almost in an empty space. When we have a set, a different relation generates, like in ‘Meghnad Badh Kabya’, ‘Bisarjan’.
CalcuttaTube: What character you like the best among your current plays?
Gautam Haldar: I love all the characters I do. An actor should give his 100 percent to any role he is portraying; he cannot discriminate there. Every role has certain requirements. In some characters, you have songs, dance, or physical acting. In some roles you don’t have these elements. When acting in ‘Bod Da’, I remain seated for about 50 minutes. There are not many movements. In situations like this, it may be regarded as ‘deepest acting’.
Acting deals with people’s minds and that is what determines quality of acting.
CalcuttaTube: Please say something for your fans.
Gautam Haldar: I am extremely grateful to all those who love my acting. Their love for my works enriches me and drives me forward.
CalcuttaTube: Any philosophical or ethical reasons for coming out of Nandikar and founding Naye Natua, that would like to share?
Gautam Haldar: It is life. Like you leave one job and go for another.