O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms staged

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 18:08, Apr 19,2017


A scene from Desire Under the Elms staged at Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Tuesday. — Snigdha Zaman

Shabdaboli staged Bangla version of popular US playwright Eugene O’Neill’s play Desire Under the Elms at Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Tuesday.

The play depicts how greed and lust affects family ties through the conflict and tension of characters, including three brothers Eben, Simon and Peter, their father Ephraim and his second wife Abbie.

The play translated into Bangla by late Kabir Chowdhury, has been directed by Fazlul Rahman Polash.

While Ephraim goes away for two months a dispute breaks out between the three brothers Eben, Simon and Peter over the ownership of their father’s farm.

Most cunning of the lot, Eben steals his father’s savings and gives the money to his brothers so that they relinquish their claim to the land and goes away to California in search of gold.

Meanwhile old Ephraim returns with his new wife Abbie. As the play progresses, an affair develops between Eben and his step mother and a child is born.

It makes the old man furious resulting conflict between Ephraim, Eben and Abbie.

As consequence, Abbie kills her illegitimate son and subsequently police arrest both Abbie and Eben for murder.

Explaining the reason behind staging the American 20th century drama in Dhaka, director Fazlu said, ‘The play is still relevant in today’s society as it shows how greed can create distance among family members.’

 Badrul Alam, Anwar Shamim, Nabila Nasrin, Yasir Arafat and Jahirul Islam played different characters in the play.

A large audience enjoyed the show. ‘I had earlier read the original play and I found that the Bangla version depicts the play wonderfully,’ said a viewer Ismail Hossain.

‘The director has nicely depicted the psychology and conflicts among the characters,’ he added.

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