Oedipus: The all-time popular Greek tragedy

Oedipus: The all-time popular Greek tragedy

Oedipus, by Sophocles, remains one of the most popular Greek tragedies. It has been translated subsequently into several languages all over the world and staged on numerous occasions, including the version of the adaptation in Bengali by Shambhu Mitra, the late thespian of Bengali theatre. It was staged in 1964 under the ‘Bohurupee’ banner at the New Empire theatre. Mitra excelled as the tragic king and the sheer brilliance of his acting skills branded the play as an all-time great play in the history of Bengali stage productions, which was later adopted from original plays written in foreign languages.

Much later, another version of the play with Deb Shankar Haldar as the protagonist was staged, which ran successfully for over a thousand shows and became very popular. Recently, the play was staged by ‘Kasba Natya Arghya’ with Manish Mitra as the director.

‘Parnashree Rupkalpa’ staged an audio play version of the epic (duration: 1 hour, 40 minutes) on July 18 at Rabindra Sadan. Undoubtedly, it was a bit of an out-of-the-box idea and effort, as it’s not at all an easy job to keep on holding the uninterrupted attention of the modern-day audience for such a long duration and keep them engrossed and glued to their seats. It can be easily said that the production team was largely successful in doing so and churned out an excellent stage presentation of the epic.

It was overall an all-out team effort, with Anirban Ghosh excelling as King Oedipus. Other team members - Sree Basu as Queen Jocasta, Pradip Dasgupta as the blind prophecy maker Tiresias, Sauvik Sen as Creon, Shantanu Pal as Zeus and Chorus, Caesar Sen as the old shepherd and Somnath Bandopadhyay as the Corinthian ambassador - all did their bit and were flawless in their respective performances. A special mention went to music director Alokesh Dey Sarkar (Sunny) for the arrangement of captivating music, which aptly highlighted the period drama and held the audience engrossed. All other sections - sound, set and light - were also precise and perfectly enhanced the quality of the overall production. Srinivas Music was the main arranger of the stage show.

It was quite a brave effort, particularly in the present-day cultural scenario.

It may not be entirely irrelevant to mention that the play’s audio version was released and launched on the digital platform at the end of February this year and has, till now, received more than 67,000 views.

Next Story
Share it