A 70-YEAR STRUG­GLE

India Today - - LEISURE - —Romita Datta

Ayear af­ter In­de­pen­dence, Shambhu Mi­tra and Bi­jon Bhat­tacharya were grow­ing rest­less, search­ing for a cre­ative out­let. They found it in Bo­hu­ru­pee, the old­est the­atre group in the coun­try. The group saw the ar­rival and evo­lu­tion of fa­mous the­atre per­son­al­i­ties such as Shambhu and Tripti Mi­tra, Ut­pal Dutt, Ajitesh Bandy­opad­hyay, Ku­mar Roy. Plays like

Rak­takarabi, Bis­ar­jan, Raja and adap­ta­tions of plays by Sopho­cles, Ib­sen, Chekhov, Brecht, Sartre hit the stage to re­flect the po­lit­i­cal and so­cio-eco­nomic changes hap­pen­ing in the coun­try. Over a jour­ney of 70 years, which be­gan on May 1— Labour Day—Bo­hu­ru­pee also be­came syn­ony­mous with the strug­gles, dreams and as­pi­ra­tions of the work­ing class, the peas­ants and the com­mon man.

The group cel­e­brated its 70th birth­day with a week­end of plays and an ex­hi­bi­tion of pho­tos and cos­tumes of fa­mous pro­tag­o­nists—in­clud­ing Nan­dini of Rak­takarabi and King Oedi­pus—at the Academy of Fine Arts gallery.

Then and Now (Clock­wise from top) Bo­hu­ru­pee’s new show, Medal; Rak­takarabi (1954); Dasachakra (1962)

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