Archives for the month of: October, 2012

Radio station Betar Bangla showcased “A Season Of Bangla Drama” tonight at 8.45pm. That’s Betar Bangla on 1503 mw.

Dr  Mukid Choudhury took phone calls about the upcoming season of drama at the Brady Arts Centre. He spoke about “Ekti Asharhe Shopno” aka “A Fantastic Dream” being based on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and stressed how the theatre is about physicality and movement.

He answered another caller and talked about Tagore,  intergenerational theatre, and the Movement Theatre.

The season is aimed primarily at the Bengali speaking community in London’s east end.

Other calls were addressed to the other studio guests who included Selina Shelley (“Jamuna”)  and Dr. Sheik Selim (arts and literature ambassador for Tower Hamlets).

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Hanbury Street in the Autumn sunshine. Brady Arts Centre all glorious and warm  for

A Season of Bangla Drama.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arts & Entertainment

Jamuna: A play on woman, war and peace

The play is set in Bangladesh and zooms in on a woman’s shame and stigma that she encounters.

A renowned, self-taught sculptor puts the finishing touches to her work on the eve of her first major exhibition. This would be a tense moment for anyone. But when the inspiration behind her art is deeply personal, traumatic, and a long-kept secret, will the show turn out a success, or a source of shame? This is the moment at which we first encounter Jamuna, the driving character of this fascinating play. And we sit with her, on the edge of our seats, as she deals out the last demons of her mind and gets ready to speak her truth to the world.

It cannot be easy to capture the social anguish experienced during the Bangladesh Liberation War in an 80-minute play, but Selina Shelley has done it. Through one woman’s story, she recalls the physical and sexual abuse that many women experienced at the hands of the military at that time, redoubled by the social stigma that followed them back home.

The drama unfolds in the intimacy of Jamuna’s studio, filled with beautiful wooden sculptures that echo the works of Ferdousi Priyobhashini, whose life story gives inspiration to this play. And the sculptures come alive, accompanied by evocative music, to take centre stage as the characters who Jamuna loves, leans upon, or curses. Mohammed Ali Haidar’s direction and Samina Luthfa’s choreography make artful use of the stage, transforming it suddenly from Jamuna’s studio into a night-time river escape, then into a tortuous military camp.

The play may be set in Bangladesh, but Jamuna’s experience, her shame, and the stigma she encounters are themes that speak to women worldwide. For all of them, the play brings hope. On finally learning the truth of her mother’s past, Jamuna’s daughter Phul declares, “Ma, you are the victor!” — and in that moment, she throws off decades of shame, inviting all women to stand tall.

The cast is impressive. Four talented young women — two of them the playwright’s own daughters — play Jamuna’s much-loved sculptures that come alive then recede again into their woody forms. They literally dance from one incarnation to the next .

****************Theatre Folks Oxford brings “Jamuna” to Whitechapel on  4th November 2012.**********

One of the remarkable things about Humayun’s long and distinguished literary career is his influence. His writing is so influential that people not only get psychological pleasure from reading his books, but usually end up becoming fans of his fictional characters, such as Himu, Misir Ali, and Baker Bhai. His creations generate the smells, sounds, and vibrations of feelings and moods, which are more powerful than all the unused hydrogen bombs in the United States. However, in death, Humayun’s celebrity seems likely to exceed his popularity, even at the height of his fame. His funeral, which was held in Dhaka on Tuesday, became a Super Bowl-like event: millions of Bengalis from all walks of life flocked to the Central Shaheed Minar yesterday to say “Hasta la vista, Humayun Sir.”

A Season of Bangla Drama 2012
Sat  3rd – 25th  Nov   Brady Arts Centre E1   
“A Retrospective”.  Display of brochures, photos and all to do with the production.
Thurs 8th Nov    Brady Arts Centre    6.45 pm      
The Life and Work of H. Ahmed.  Play and  talk.
Thurs 15th Nov   Brady Arts Centre   6.45pm        
The development of Bangla Drama in Bangladesh and the UK.

The month sees the Season of Bangla Drama come alive in Tower Hamlets. Plays, drama, stories, music and seminars, free and cheap. Much will be based at the Brady Arts Centre in Whitechapel and otherwise at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green.

Timely is a free walk on Sunday 21st October meeting at Wapping Station at 2pm for some education about the Lascars who settled in the docks areas. Best to book with the Whitechapel Art Gallery.