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57 yrs of theatre and still not (ham)strung

If it has been for no other play,it was Nathbati Anathbath,a play based on the character of Draupadi of Mahabharat,which could have fetched the Padmashri award to 61-year-old Shaonli Mitra...

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
February 4, 2009 2:47:33 am

If it has been for no other play,it was Nathbati Anathbath,a play based on the character of Draupadi of Mahabharat,which could have fetched the Padmashri award to 61-year-old Shaonli Mitra,a doyen of Bengali threatre,according to leading theatre personalities of the city.

But Shaonli,the daughter of legendary theatre personalities Shambhu and Tripti Mitra,leaves it to the audience: “It’s for the audience to decide which play of mine is the best. They are the judges. My work is to entertain people. If they are happy,my job is done,” the artiste told Indian Express.

The actor,who started her career at the age of four with a play called Dashachakra,has so far directed 11 plays,besides acting in countless others. “That play,which was based on Ibsen’s Enemy of the People,was directed by my father. In fact,I had some dialogues there. After that,at the same age,I played the character of Amal in Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Dakghar’,the actor said.

Apart from Nathbati Anathbath,the spectacular plays Shaonli directed include Bitoto Bitonsho,Katha Amritasaman (based on the Mahabharata),Pashukhamar,(based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm),Putulkhela (based on Ibsen’s Dolls’ House),to name a few.

The actor,who crossed swords with the state government by actively protesting against the land acquisition in Singur and police firing at Nandigram,said she did not know who recommended her name.

“The award is a great state recognition. I don’t know who recommended my name. Anyway,today I got the letter and I was so glad. I have been flooded with congratulatory messages. It’s simply great,” the actor said.

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