Dhaka Theatre premiered the Bangla version of the British playwright Timberlake Wartenbaker’s play, Our Country’s Good, on Wednesday at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The play, translated into Bangla by Abdus Selim, features the significance of theatre as a humanising force in society.
Directed by Humayun Kabir Himu, the play is set in the late 19th century when the British Royal Navy’s first fleet went to Australia, the then penal colony, with convicts and marines.
The play shows how theatre works as an instrument of rehabilitation of convicts who appear to be engrossed by ill-thoughts and criminal activities.
The play begins with dialogues among the convicts and the mariners on punishment, crime, rehabilitation, judicial system and others.
Governor of the penal colony Arthur Philip and his officers like Captain David Collins and Captain Watkin Tench engage in a debate over whether the convicts would be punished or rehabilitated in society.
Governor Arthur Philip suggests that the convicts should be rehabilitated and theatre can play an important role in the rehabilitation process.
The play ends showing that theatre practice changes behaviour of the notorious criminals like Liz Morden and turns them into good human beings.
Rosy Siddique, who played the role of Liz Morden, said, ‘The play glorifies power of theatre. I enjoyed playing the role of the careless character Liz Morden, who later transforms as a caring woman.’
Fakhrul Bashar Masum, Farzana Chumki, Mili Bashar, Shubhashis Bhowmick, Milu Chowdhury and others acted different characters.
Director of the play Humayun Kabir Himu said, ‘I was impressed by the play when I first watched it in England and then decided to stage it here in Dhaka.’
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Theatre