Mahakal celebrates jubilee shows of two plays

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 00:00, May 25,2019

 
 

A scene from Nilakhyan. — Abdullah Apu

As part of year-long celebration of the 36th founding anniversary of Mahakal Natya Sampraday, the troupe staged the 50th and 175th shows of its popular productions Nilakhyan and Shikhandi Kotha at Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Thursday and Friday respectively.
State minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid was present as the chief guest on Thursday, while Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation secretary general Kamal Bayezid was present as special guest at the celebration programme, presided over by Mahakal chief Mir Zahid Hasan.
KM Khalid and Kamal Bayezid congratulated Mahakal on successfully completing 36 years.
‘Formed with devotion to theatre and culture back in 1983, Mahakal Natya Sampraday has produced 40 stage and street plays including Bayannor Shakun, Sunai Koinyar Pala, Bodh, Ghum Nei, Shikhandi Kotha, Nisimon Bisarjon and Prometheus,’ said Mahakal chief Mir Zahid Hasan, who also recalled the former members of the troupe.
Following a discussion the troupe staged the 50th show of Nilakhyan.
Based on Kazi Nazrul Islam’s short story Sapure, the play revolves around a snake-charmer who is forced to choose a life of celibacy in order to attain supernatural powers.
Adapted by Anan Zaman and directed by Yousuf Hasan Arko, the play is presented in the style of narrative theatre, which combines music, narration, dance and acting.
Nilakhyan begins with Zohor, leader of a snake charmer’s community, praying to the goddess of snakes Monosha. He asks the goddess to make him immune to snake venom.
The goddess accepts his prayer on one condition according to which Zohor will have to choose celibacy and dedicate both his body and mind for the cause. He will also have to suffer from the pain of venomous bites of 100 snakes.
A determined Zohor sets out on a journey to achieve his goal. He chooses a life of celibacy, due to which Binti, who loves Zohor, feels neglected and commits suicide.
The story takes a turn when Zohor, while nearing the end of his quest, falls in love with a girl. He breaks his vow of celibacy and thus fails to attain supernatural powers.
On Friday, the troupe staged the 175th show of Shikhandi Kotha. Written by Anan Zaman and directed by Haroon Rashid, the play depicts the woes and worries of transgender community.

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