LOKO Natyadal’s four-day theatre festival, marking the troupe’s 36th founding anniversary, ended on Saturday with the staging of Lilabati Akhyan at Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Written by Nasrin Mustafa and directed by Liaqaut Ali Lucky, Lilabati Akhyan narrates the tragic story of princess Lilaboti, based on the life of legendary philosopher and astrologer from ancient times, Khona.
Jealous of Lilabati’s growing fame as an astrologer, her father-in-law Boraho, who was the royal astrologer, ordered to have her tongue severed. Thus Lilaboti became to be known as Khona, which means ‘the one with a severed tongue’.
Loko Natyadal’s Lilabati Akhyan begins with the young Lilaboti, who at a young age, predicts her own marriage to Mihir, son of the renowned astrologer Boraho.
Lilabati joins the court of King Harsha Vikramaditya as an astrologer, where her father-in-law was the court astrologer.
Lilabati’s father-in-law finds himself at discomfort when Lilabati begins to contradict Boraho’s predictions and prophecies.
Feeling insulted and insecure, Boraho orders his son to cut off Lilabati’s tongue so that she can never make another prophecy.
Lilabati Akhyan, while depicting this tragic story, also highlights how Lilabati’s prophecies have survived the test of time. Her prophecies, known as Khonar Bachan, are still popular among the masses.
Mahfuza Hilali Happy, Masud Sumon and Liaqaut Ali Lucky played the lead characters in the play.
The four-day festival, which commenced on Wednesday, featured staging of eight plays directed by Loko Natyadal founder Liaquat Ali Lucky.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Theatre