Theatre troupe Prangonemor premiered its play Hasonjaner Raja depicting life and works of mystic bard Hason Raja to the mixed response from the audience on Friday at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Friday.
The play, written by Shakoor Majid and directed by Ananta Hira, brings to light the eventful life of the mystic bard through a fictitious meeting between a group of youths and Hason Raja.
Hasonjaner Raja begins with a group of tourists, comprising young boys and girls, visiting a haor at a full moon night in rainy season.
The boatman, who is a devotee of Hason Raja, informs the group that Hason Raja often visits the haor at full moon night.
Much to the group’s surprise, a chance meeting happens between Hason Raja and the group and the play moves forward.
Through conversations between Hason Raja and the youths the play reveals how Hason Raja, a landlord of a region in the eastern part of the country, became a mystic bard abandoning a life of luxury.
Through narrations and songs, the play portrayed Hason Raja’s days as a zamindar when he was addicted to wealth and women and how he later came to realise the meaninglessness of worldly desires and possessions after the death of his mother.
Hason Raja’s songs like Nesha lagilore, Hason Raja koy, Sundori radhego, Sona Bondhe amare, Matir pinjirar majhe, Loke bole bolero and few others were presented as Hason Raja narrated the story of his life.
Prangonemor artiste Ramiz Razu enacted the character of Hason Raja very impressively to the delight of the audience, while the tourists’ callous conversations with Hason and rapping with Hason’s songs drew mixed response from the audience.
‘I did not understand why rap songs were used in the production or why the play required callous tourists to depict the story of a man like Hason Raja’, said an audience member Arif Reza.
Several other audiences also spoke in the same vein. They did not like youths rapping with Hason Raja’s songs and presenting dance synchronised with the rap songs in a play on the life of Hason Raja.
Playwright Shakoor Majid, who has earlier written a biographical play on folk bard Shah Abdul Karim, explained, ‘I wanted to present the story of Hason Raja through an imagined meeting between Hason Raja and today’s youth.’
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