Towards a Revolutionary Theatre

978-8-170463-40-5

Seagull Books, kolkata, 2009

Language: English

180 pages

Price INR 395.00
Book Club Price INR 316.00
INR 395.00
In stock
SKU
LWB1098

Utpal Dutt (1929–93), playwright, director and actor, an inspiration and role model for the activist theatre person. Whether through the proscenium theatre, street performance, the traditional strolling theatre-in-the-round, or cinema, Dutt tried to take revolutionary theatre to the widest mass of people, with political messages for every turning point in a highly sensitive and rapidly changing political scenario, redefining his relationship with the political leadership again and again, getting into violent confrontations with various forces, being driven underground, and getting jailed in the process. His legacy of plays and other writing remain a valuable chapter in Indian theatre history.

Here, Dutt explores the contradictions between an actor’s personality and his roles as he is forced to juggle the socio-political influences of his times. He debates on ‘political theatre’, attempting to place revolution in its historical perspective and presents his own views on matters revolutionary, drawing upon his incredible reading of world history, theatre and literature. He also writes of his association with the Indian People’s Theatre Association and the Little Theatre Group, his Marxist leanings and his determination to make a mark in ‘active politics’ through his entire body of creative output.

Utpal Dutt

Utpal Dutta (29 March 1929 – 19 August 1993) was an Indian actor, director, and writer-playwright. He was primarily an actor in Bengali theatre, where he became a pioneering figure in Modern Indian theatre, when he founded. the 'Little Theater Group' in 1947, which enacted many English, Shakespearean and Brecht plays, in a period now known as the 'Epic theater' period, before immersing itself completely in highly political and radical theatre. His plays became apt vehicle of the expression for his Marxist ideologies, visible in socio-political plays like, Kallol (1965), Manusher Adhikar, Louha Manob (1964), Tiner Toloar and Maha-Bidroha. He also acted over 100 Bengali and Hindi films in his career spanning 40 years, and remains most known for his roles in films like Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome (1969), Satyajit Ray’s Agantuk (1991), Gautam Ghose’s Padma Nadir Majhi (1993) and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's breezy comedies such as Gol Maal (1979) and Rang Birangi (1983). He received National Film Award for Best Actor in 1970 and three Filmfare Best Comedian Awards. In 1990, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Theatre, awarded him its highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theatre.