Despite many individuals stating that theater is taking a backseat due to the onslaught of the medium of films, the youth of Kolkata proved that this medium is still popular among them by way of a month long theater festival which began in the month of February ended in March. which indeed proved many people who have been worried about the sad state of theater wrong. The theater festival saw the presence of many new and old theater groups. LOK, SOS, Urotaar, Bodnaam, Gujob were some of the theater groups which performed at the festival. The range of subjects covered were diverse- religion, politics, friendship to empowerment of the fairer sex.
The theater group LOK staged the play “The Stone Age”. The play is about Shubhomoy Das who has just won a 4 nights 5 days holiday package. He packs his bags and sets off to a new and exciting land, New York City. The other sub-plot of the play shows five friends, living in one of the greatest cities in the world, who find their lives embroiled in a haze of drugs, violence, hatred, racism and sadness. To them, life is all about friendship, about hope for a better future. But what they can never understand is the unpredictability of human life, of emotions and of love. They seek refuge in drugs, in solidarity and in each other with the hope that things will somehow work out.
The five friends who are part of this story are as follows. Rashed is the simpleton who sells hot dogs at Central Park. Rupsha is the fashion student who fails to judge people. Shevvy is the incorrigible flirt and the constant Casanova. Arnab is the Goth, who believes he is at the center of the rock and roll scene of the city and Anindi is Arnab’s sister who is mute.
The Stone Age is the story of how Shubhomoy finds these five friends – Arnab, Anindi, Rashed, Shevvy and Rupsha as they struggle to find their own place in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The play is a musical, and is one of the first of its kind in Kolkata. What is being attempted by this production is to try and reach a level of perfection in various centers of dance, performance, visuals and concept creation. There are strong influences of the street dance styles of New York City in this play, and overall, the format of the play is very close to a Broadway style of production.
The acting by the cast was also commendable. Kheya Chattopadhyay as Anindi and Meghdut Roy Chowdhury as Arnab steal the show. Shubhomoy’s character played by Apratim Chatterjee evokes humor and lends comic relief to the otherwise serious play.
Theatre festivals of this kind will enhance the interest of the people considerably in this art medium form. Looking forward to more such theatrical events in future.