A very young theatre group of Kolkata, 'Bodnaam' has created quite a buzz in the city. So let's here what they had to say :
Why the name ‘Bodnaam’ ?
' Bodnaam' is a bengali word which means being infamous. We call ourselves Bodnaam because we are not scared of being famous and we believe if fame and popularity do not scare us then we will surely attain excellence.
Your production "Putul Naacher Itir Katha"- what is it all about?
It's about a world which has become more like machine,where people who are more human than machine are called defective and they are held captive in the jail or kept in the surveillance of a group of people called SSS assigned by society and system.The hierarchy of the whole system is set by 'status point',a single currency that sets the status as well as their status in the society. People consider their friends as status point wielding machines,thus a guild is formed to buy friends or to exchange some business proposal meeting.the story is about a defective 'suhrid',a high class socialist 'Pratik' who is realising his emotion and is bending towards to be a human,her daughter putul and this 'good society'.
What do you think is needed to change the scenario of the theatre industry in Kolkata?
A thorough planning and structure from a governing body which will look after the renovation of theatre auditoriums. More number of theatre halls that would be given at cheaper rates to government registered organizations. Every theatre organization should have a well planned public relations and promotional strategy . Promotional events regarding theatre should be conducted by the government and the big corporate houses.
How do you schedule your rehearsals? And take time out from work or studies?
Our team ranges from school children to working proffessionals. Rehearsals are held after college/work hours and during the weekends. On a regular basis we give around 14 hours per week and one month prior to a show the rehearsal timings ranges from 20-30 hours per week. For many, Bodnaam is the first priority and so we don't have to struggle much to give time.
Do you also conduct theatre workshops ?
We conduct workshops on a regular basis so that the more experienced members can share their knowledge to the newer ones. We believe that for us to grow as a theater group, such workshops are essential. As of now we are doing it within the group but soon we are planning to spread it to theatre enthusiasts outside.
Can you please tell us a bit about your upcoming play-The Convict
The Convict , a psychoanalytical drama with love, poetry and religion, tries to find the answer that may just give its three protagonists their destination. The Journey of the three that will go through the worst of their dreams, that will test their minds and that will connect them in one single garland of hope, love and freedom.
Tell us something about your most famous plays and the play you have performed a repeated number of times.
Our most well received plays are:The Hunger Artist, an adaptation of Franz Kafka's 'A Hunger Artist'. It is a black comedy mocking the rigid and conventional structure of our society. It tells the story of what happens,how this order descends to chaos when someone rejects food, food which is the basic currency on which our class system is founded. It is also our most repeated play, being performed first at Tapan Theatre, then at Rabindratirtho and Rabindra Sadan.
Aschhi Bondhu..?, is a story of the relationship between two friends, and an old man, of love and friendship, all layered under the main plot of a writer coping with rejection. Based on 'The Last Leaf', it has a surreal element and a looping narrative and talks on many aspects of current day relationships.
The Convict which can be best described as a character study that takes you deep within the inner workings of the human mind is also one of our most highly acclaimed works.
Where do you see yourself 5 years down the lane?
We are a government registered theatre organization for the past one year. So in 5 years we see ourselves getting government grants, taking the performance meter higher and garnering fans and appreciations . We are planning to organize a very different dynamic theatre day in the next two years that would take the concept of theatre festivals to another level. We are also planning to take our plays to other cities as well as to attract corporates and popular brands to partner us in our ventures.
What message would you like to give to your audience?
We are team that creates their own steps to climb. We are a team that dreams and then strive hard to achieve them. The principle of the team is very basic. We have a passion and we will fight hard for the passion. I know you all are exactly like us . So connect with us and if you love what we do then be a part of our family. Let's spread love. Let's spread theatre.