Jera is an upcoming Bengali play going to be staged at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. Reputed director Anish Ghosh and his team have done a tremendous job in prepping up for this play since last August. Inspired from Academy Award winner Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore’s critically acclaimed work, this play has been outright decided by the director right after the 1st sitting with the play writer and veteran actor Jagannath Guha.
PlayBook had a wonderful opportunity to sit and talk with the director Anish Ghosh over a cup of tea and cigarette.
After exchange of interpretations with the actors, producers and other cast and crew members, the play came into being. However, being humble as ever, Anish said that he doesn’t know how it has turned up, but he hopes his audience would enjoy it as much as he did while practising.
Anish Ghosh further expressed that he doesn’t make plays for someone or something. He does it for his own. If he chances upon a good script, he’d work upon it to make it into a play.
The play revolves around two major characters with few supporting casts. It is essentially an interrogation between a man and his mind or soul. The form of the play is downright interrogation. Just like an artist constructs his work; similar construction occurs amongst the character and his mind.
The character of the novelist is the main protagonist. An officer in charge is interrogating him on something. The synopsis of the play cannot be expressed in words as it is abstract. There is a feel of back and forth from reality and imagination. One must watch to understand what is happening in real, and what else a figment of imagination is.
Prepping for the play was not a cup of tea for them. The character development took time and patience. And it was very challenging for the director and the actors. Anish casually says, “My work is done, so is my producers!” Now it’s up to the actors to do their job properly and execute a brilliant performance.
The play again is not for immature people. Kids and children in no way can enjoy this play. It is strictly meant for emotionally strong mature audience.
“Basically I do theatre for myself and not for the audience.”
On asking about engaging this audience in an innovative way, Anish Ghosh said “I strongly believe form comes out of the content.”
If the script demands for breaking the “fourth wall” or taking a long jump from the roof of the stage, he’d do so. However, in this play, none of these out of the box ideas were required.
When further asked if there is a message or moral of the play, he said very clearly that there is no solution book to a theatre. Whatever is shown on the stage is to be perceived by the audience to bring about the meaning of the play.
A play is not just about entertainment. It is more than that. He says “It should enlighten also the prime truth which is relevant to the present”.
Mr. Ghosh did not wish to reveal much about his upcoming projects.
Jera has been in theatres since last November, and can be seen on 20th of January, 2018 at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata at 6:30 pm.
Preview by Sreya Nath.