Apr 7, 2018, 04.19 PM IST
City theatre lovers are in for a treat what with Nandikar gearing up to stage an adaptation of the 1989 Hollywood hit, Dead Poets Society. And what’s more, they will get to see Sohini Sengupta in the iconic role of an English teacher, immortalised as John Keating by Robin Williams.The script has been penned by Saptarshi Moulik and the group has already started rehearsals with a working title, Mrito Kobider Upotyoka. While Sohini is directing the play, Saptarshi will be portraying one of the key characters. “My character’s name is Jahnabi ma’am. Though it’s an adaptation, Saptarshi has given it a totally contemporary makeover,” Sohini told us, adding that she was deeply moved by the film and always wondered if a sound educational background is a must for a poet to write good poems or an actor to act better. “I remember, Saptarshi and my friendship began with a conversation on Dead Poets Society many years ago. Sometime back, he told me that he wanted to write a script based on the story. I wasn’t sure he could pull off something as intense as this, but when he made us listen to the final script, we were awestruck! My father (Rudraprasad Sengupta) was overjoyed,” she added.
The play is particularly special because many Bengali poems, including pieces by Shankha Ghosh, Mallika Sengupta, Shakti Chattopadhyay and other eminent poets, have been woven into it. “We are also using Nazrul’s Bidrohi. I’ve incorporated a few of my own poems as well. It’s primarily a story of a few friends in a boarding school. Jahnavi is their teacher. The play depicts the way I see our education system. I wanted to capture the world beyond the set syllabus. I’ve even written a few raps for the play,” Saptarshi told us.
Sohini told us that initially, she wasn’t very sure about how Saptarshi’s poems would go with the brilliant verse of Shakti Chattopadhyay and Shankha Ghosh. “So, I took him to Shankha jethu (Ghosh), who listened to the script very carefully and was very happy with it. So, I heaved a sigh of relief,” she said, adding, “We’ll start composing the play in May, but it will take a while to stage.”