July 25, 2012

A twist in the tale by Kaushik Sen

Zinia Sen, TNN, Jun 17, 2012, 12.00AM IST

Kaushik Sen's tryst with “Macbeth" left him with a dilemma of Shakespearean proportions. The play that debuted to a full house on May 29, had its second show on June 14. But theatre lovers, who attended both, were in for a surprise. After becoming the king, Malcolm who addresses his coterie of men with "Dosh bochhorer kaj dosh diney kore felte hobe" — a line that's similar to the latest political punchline — was left out of the second stage act. Is political pressure to be blamed for this?

Filmmaker Sharon Dutta, who attended both shows, says, "When Malcolm uttered the dialogue, I remember the audience breaking into a huge round of applause. I was thoroughly disappointed to watch the second show. More so, because the play comes from the stable of Swapnasandhani. From "Winkle Twinkle" to "Ruddhasangeet", political criticism has found its way on stage. I sincerely want this tradition to continue."

Ask Kaushik if political pressure made him change the climax of "Macbeth" and he explains that it was more of a well-thought out decision. "We got a huge response for "Macbeth". And the line was much talked about. But after the first show, playwright Ujjal Chattopadhyay expressed serious concern," says Kaushik.

A government employee, Ujjal reportedly feared his job might be at stake and that made Kaushik rethink his decision on carrying the line. "It has not been penned by Ujjal. It was something I incorporated. But it's not possible for me to clarify that at every show. At the same time, I do not want to make Ujjal the scapegoat. That he fears losing his job is itself nothing short of alarming."
Fair is foul, didn't the Bard mention already?

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