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Dhaka Tribune

Kabar staged at Curzon Hall after six decades

Update : 28 Feb 2014, 06:46 PM

Eminent playwright Munier Chowdhury’s archetypal play Kabar was staged at Curzon Hall, University of Dhaka, at the same venue where the play was first staged six decades ago, by a newly formed theatre troupe TheatrEX on February 27. The production has been directed by Nila Saha and designed by Sudip Chakroborthy.

Munier Chowdhury’s most famous work, alternatively called The Grave, written during his imprisonment in the background of the glorious language movement of 1952, was first enacted inside the jail by a band of political prisoners on a temporary stage soon after its composition. The play was first openly staged at Curzon Hall in 1956.

The one act play amply reveals his expert knowledge of the theatre arts. The story of the play follows a leader who resembled the despotic ruler of that reign, assigned to bury the dead bodies of martyrs during the Language Movement of 1952 at a frightening graveyard in the dark of night. Inspector Hafiz represents the local collaborators who are supposed to help the leader in the mission. But the situation deteriorated when a strange fellow named Murda Fakir appeared before them and protests to bury the martyrs as the dead bodies smelled of gun powder. In the meanwhile the martyrs denied to be buried, they want to live.

Set design, costume and music gave a new-fangled gaze to this historical play.  Director of this production Nila Saha said “We used unique costume for the play especially for the martyrs who look more alive in the costume. Additionally we experimented with sound effects and projections but tried to keep the primary background and enactment which has been used for the  last six decades.”

However, displeasure was found among the audiences as the sound projection was not good and the seating capacity was limited, one of the audiences claimed.

The cast of the play was donned by Atiqul Islam, Atikur Rahman, Mirza Shakhesep Shakib, Syeda Ifat Ara and many others. The troupe exclusively consists of members who have graduated from the Theatre and Performance Studies Department of Dhaka University, who staged their maiden production at Curzon Hall, a memorable place during the Bengali Language Movement, and between 1948 to 1956 was the location of various significant events. Students of the University of Dhaka of that time instantly objected to the actions of the Constituent Assembly, and it was in Curzon Hall that they declared their opposition to the state language policy.

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