It was a much-awaited production and the audience left the hall on Sunday with satisfaction after watching the premiere show of Bangla version of William Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy’s National Theatre Hall.
There were many reasons behind theatre goers’ special attention for the premiere of the play: One of the best Shakespearean tragedies has been produced by the state-run Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Moreover, it has been translated by a leading poet-playwright Syed Shamsul Haq, directed by a top theatre director Ataur Rahman and acted by a group of young and talented actors from different troupes.
In addition, Syed Haq and Ataur had earlier collaborated for 11 theatre productions, including three Shakespearean dramas.
The special features of Shilpakala Academy’s production were Syed Shamsul Haq’s brilliant dialogue dictions while translating Shakespeare’s tragedy on Danish monarchy for contemporary Dhaka audience, Ataur’s realistic directorial composition and energetic acting of the performers in the characters varied from the elites to marginalised people.
As found in the original text, the play begins with the scene depicting the Danish prince Hamlet’s lament over his father’s sudden death.
In his monologue, Hamlet, played by Mashud Sumon, narrates his agony over his mother Gertrude’s (Sangita Chowdhury) marriage with his uncle Claudius (Shamim Sagor).
Mashud pulled off the confusing and agonising state of Hamlet very convincingly with his body language and lively delivery of dialogues.
One of the challenging scenes of the play, ghost scene, had been depicted well in the play with light and smoke effects and the ghost of the deceased king created the illusion while delivering the message that Claudius had killed him with poison.
The play was fast-paced and a number of events take place quickly such as Hamlet’s falling in love with Ophelia (Kanta Zaman).
Ataur Rahman as the director used the style of traditional jatra to present the play within the play scene where Hamlet plays a trick on his uncle Claudius to take his confession of killing his father.
The actors also performed well depicting the final revenge scene where Hamlet, maddened with grief, kills Claudius with his sword.
Hamlet also dies in the tussle.
‘Hamlet has been staged numerous times by different troupes in the country. But, in this production, I have intentionally added some local elements so that the audience can relate the play more with their life,’ Ataur Rahman told New Age.
‘Simply enjoyed the play because of good acting and direction. However, there were a few technical problems like low volume as the audience sitting in the back had difficulties to understand all the dialogues,’ said Partha Pratim Sarkar, a private service holder.
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