Theatre slams closure of state-owned jute mills

Tanzil Rahaman | Published: 22:37, Jul 18,2020


Theatre 52 stages ‘Sonali Fansher Galpa’ in front of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Friday. — Sony Ramany

Theatre troupe Theatre 52 premiered its play titled ‘Sonali Fansher Galpa’ criticising the closure of 25 state-owned jute mills in front of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Friday.

The troupe staged four shows of the play which has been written by Surovi Roy and directed by Jayita Mahlanobish.

‘Sonali Fansher Galpa’ gives the audience a glimpse into the plights of workers of state-owned jute mills who have lost their livelihoods amid the COVID-19 outbreak after the closure of  the mills.

The play is structured around a talk show attended by three guests, comprising two representatives from the ruling and opposition parties and a labour leader, who discuss about the closure of state-owned jute mills and how the move affected the workers.

The ruling party representative defends government’s decision of closing the jute mills saying that the mills were shut down due to huge amount of recurring losses year after year. He also adds that the workers will get all their benefits.

The opposition party representative claims that the decision was suicidal as the government could earn huge amount of foreign currency by exporting jute.

The labour leader points out that the sufferings of the workers who became jobless due to the closure of the mills in the time of COVID-19 know no bounds. He claims that the workers will struggle to put food on the table as they do not know any other way of earning money.

The play ends with jute workers entering the stage. They share the stories of their sufferings with the audience.

‘We prepared the play in five days to protest at the closure of state-owned jute mills and portray the sufferings of the jute mill workers,’ Jayita Mahlanobish told New Age.

‘We rehearsed the play online due to the coronavirus situation. We wanted to stage two shows of the play at the Teachers-Students Centre of Dhaka University and two shows at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. We could not stage the play at TSC of Dhaka University due to heavy rainfall so we staged four shows at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The play has been well received,’ he added.

‘We will stage another show of the play at the main auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum next Friday. We will stage it after Eid-ul-Azha at TSC of Dhaka University. We will depict more anomalies in the future shows,’ Jayita continued.

Surovi Roy, Nadim Hasan, Amin Khan, Songjukta Sharker, Pinck Barua, Tahmid Ahmed Tayef and others acted in the play.

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