Seventy years after the first performance of the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by dramatist J B Priestly, this masterpiece is still being discovered in every country and every culture around the world.
The version created by Jatrik Productions is a combination of Priestly’s original play and the Bengali adaptation ‘Thana Theke Ashchi’ by Ajit Gangopadhyay. It is set in a fictional town of Bonobagan in Bangladesh, and it takes place on a single night in April 2012, exactly a hundred years from the original time of setting. There isn’t a particular reason why Jatrik chose to do this play for they didn’t want to critique the individualist, capitalist point of view about personal responsibility. The pool of actors behind the play includes Iresh Zaker, Toufikul Islam Emon, Samina Luthfa, Baizid Haque Joarder, Priyam Sarker, Wasi Noor Azam, Shakil Ahmed and Mitul Mahmud.
An Insepctor Calls, being a Drawing room drama, is an actors’ play every part is meaty, realistic with hidden depths, requiring all the techniques of acting. Director Naila Azad said, “It was such a pleasure for me to create that space, that world, for the actors to relish their roles, to live every moment on stage and make this story come alive. It was sheer joy putting this play from page to page.”
Producer Sadaf Saaz said, “Theatre is a wonderful medium to make sense in the world. Bangladesh has built up a great reputation for innovation and experimentation in theatre, resulting in an enormous body of thought-provoking productions, mainly in Bangla. Now, after four decades of Bangladesh, we feel the time has come to encourage, nurture and celebrate our local creative talent by putting on stellar productions in English too. We are delighted to present ‘An inspector Calls’, brilliantly adapted and directed by Naila Azad, featuring a group of talented and enthusiastic individuals from a wide range of theatrical backgrounds and experiences. We look forward to many more ways of exploring the layers of our society and the human condition.”
Jatrik is an arts management and production company, which hopes to inspire innovation, broaden horizons, nurture, educate and empower, while celebrating and showcasing the syncretic history and pluralism of our rich literary and cultural heritage. They do this through events, and special projects and productions.
Jatrik is best known for producing the Dhaka Lit Fest-the capital’s largest international literary festival, and the Dhaka World Music Fest. Jatrik’s arts events throughout the year seek to highlight marginalized voices and veiled narratives. Their ground breaking theatre productions include ‘Birangona’, a play based on the women who were brutalized during Bangladesh’s Liberation war of 1971; ‘Je Kotha Bola Jaye Na’, a collection of true Bangladeshi womens’ stories adapted into a theatre production; and the off-Broadway runway hit, ‘Raisins not Virgins’. They have showcased stellar productions with stars such as Sharmila Tagore, Soumitra Chatterjee, Nandita das, Atul Kumar, Kalki Koechlin and many more, with collaborations from Excalibur Entertainment, Culturepot Global, Shadhona, Komola Collective and Naripokkho.
‘An Inspector Calls’ began from 11th December and will be staged today and tomorrow at 3pm and 7 pm at Bangladesh Mohila Samity, Baily Road, Dhaka.