Monologue theatre festival kicks off in Kolkata

Kolkata: Celebrating the legends of Bengali theatre, Kolkata is hosting the first monologue theatre festival in India. The three-day festival began yesterday with an enactment by Bijoylakshmi Burman, thespian and internationally acclaimed elocutionist.

Chapal Bhaduri, the last living legendary female impersonator in India, recreated his age-old charm on stage with a solo rendition of `Maa Sheetala`, who is worshipped as Goddess of chicken pox in India.

Combing elements of folk art, poetry and music, the monologue brought alive the folklore and mythological stories related with the goddess and the disease in rural Bengal.

Envisioned by popular media personality and elocutionist Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, the annual festival of solo performances will go on till tomorrow at Max Mueller Bhavan.

Mostly used to express thoughts or to directly address another character or the audience, monologues are speeches presented by one character.

"It is a new art form in India but is a very distinct form of theatre. We have never heard a full-fledged theatre festival in India devoted exclusively for monologues," Chatterjee said.

The second day witnessed an exclusive dramatised reading of `Kraantikaal` by legendary theatre personality Saoli Mitra.

Tomorrow there will be a solo by Bijoylakshmi Burman featuring an abridged version of `Jara brishtite bhijechilo` by Joy Goswami while Pranati Thakur will be enacting Urmila and Draupudi in her rendition of `Mohakabyer Naari`.