After more than 50 years since its first show at Rabindra Sadan, Suman Mukhopadhyay is all set to bring the magic of Tiner Talwar once again under the banner of Mukhomukhi.
Utpal Dutt’s Tiner Talwar is nothing short of a milestone in the history of Bengali theatre. By his admission, the play was his tribute to “those wonderful people - who did not obey any rules of the leper society, who were humiliated and insulted by the society.” After more than 50 years since its first show at Rabindra Sadan, Suman Mukhopadhyay is all set to bring the magic of Tiner Talwar once again under the banner of Mukhomukhi.
This time, Debshankar Halder will play the character of Kaptan Babu – the iconic role staged by Utpal Dutt. Shankar Chakraborty will play the character of Birkrishna. Besides, Poulami Bose, Ashim Roy Choudhury, and a group of bright youngsters, including Raju Bera and Anandarupa Chakraborty, will also be part of the play.
Talking about the current relevance of Tiner Talwar, Suman said that the play registers as anti-establishment, and that bears significance today. “Utpal Dutt’s daughter Bishnupriya Dutt and I were in talks to recreate Tiner Talwar for a while. In the play, Utpal Dutt paid tribute to the theatre artistes of the 19th century. The tumultuous times of the 19th century form the backdrop of this play. Bengali society has reached the nadir of cultural degeneration. The play states anti-establishment. Today in 2024, 53 years later, we too find ourselves at a shocking and disconcerting juncture in Indian history. A similar cultural debauchery has engulfed us even today. We are living in a society where many spectacles are being created without any real marker. I felt the play is extremely relevant in today’s context,” he said.
Elaborating further, Suman added, “As this play is being staged, the Ram Mandir is being inaugurated in Ayodhya. The whole nation is churning. The proponents of Hindutva brandish this event all around us. The cultural scene has degenerated to a new low. The time has come for a comprehensive cultural awakening to counteract this decline. It is now time to gather the explosive dust of worn-out protest to ignite a forceful revolution. Tiner Talwar is but that clarion call.”
Meanwhile, National Award-winning music composer Prabuddha Banerjee is working on the music. “There will be live music and background score. The songs are already composed. PB (Prabuddha) is working on the fresh orchestration for the live performance. He is also working on the background music,” Suman said.
The director and his team are busy with rehearsals. The play will be premiered on March 2 as part of Mukhomukhi’s theatre festival on Suman Mukhopadhyay. Besides Tiner Talwar, several other plays, including Ajker Sajahan and Mephisto, will also be staged.