‘A New Testament of Romeo and Juliet’ to be staged at BSA
The play, "A New Testament of Romeo and Juliet", produced by the theatre troupe, Empty Space, will be staged at National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) today. The story is written Saymon Zakaria, with a critical lens towards William Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet".
After a long break due to the coronavirus pandemic, "A New Testament of Romeo and Juliet" will have its seventh staging at BSA. The play has already achieved great success in its six previous performances, both in Bangladesh and abroad.
Noor Zaman Raja directed the play with the young theatre artistes of Empty Space. The play's costumes, stage arrangements, lighting, and music planning are all handled by Raja himself, while Ismail Hossain Nayan is responsible for music direction and overall management.
The central character of the play is a poet. On full moon nights, those who are intoxicated by the smell of flowers in the grave, sing songs of devotion, according to the story. On one such night, the dead Romeo and Juliet appear in front of the poet during his song.
The poet tells Juliet that Romeo actually loved Rosaline before her. He was fascinated by Juliet's beauty, and completely forgot about Rosaline. The loving couple feels helpless by the poet's words and seeks the help of Father Friar Lawrence.
The poet also reminds the couple that Father Friar Lawrence was the one who consummated the marriage of Romeo and Juliet. To hide this truth, Juliet agreed to marry again with Lord Paris. Eventually, she was forced to commit suicide to cover up her secret.
In this situation, Father Friar calls upon William Shakespeare to answer the poet's criticisms. The poet overwhelms even Shakespeare with his questions.
Romeo and Juliet's famous tragic love story is seen in a new light by author Saymon Zakaria. He portrays the play from a critic's point of view, including the tragic love of Romeo and Juliet, their marriage, and separation through the character of the poet. The play also meticulously displayed the religious, political, and cultural influence throughout the drama.
The play features Loba Ahmed as Juliet. Apart from her, the play also features Golam Shahriar Shikto, Swadhin Biswas, Noor Zaman Raja, and Fakir Biplob among others in different roles.
Translated by Akhalakur Rahman