Thespian Debesh Chattopadhyay to merge theatrics and films in his unique digital project
After experimenting with online theatre, celebrated thespian Debesh Chattopadhyay concludes that theatre loses its purpose when digitised.
It is impossible for a theatre enthusiast in Kolkata to be oblivious to Debesh Chattopadhyay. The award-winning thespian does believe in limiting himself to the boundaries of a proscenium but takes his propensity of experimentations beyond that. This time, the lockdown witnessed the Regisseur conceptualising a few never explored before concepts that synthesises films with theatre. “We have experimented with a few projects online over the lockdown. The experience gained from the same has only made me believe that theatre loses its purpose when digitised. The outcome becomes a documentation of theatrics” expresses Chattopadhyay.
To do away with the woes of digitalisation, Chattopadhyay will be soon starting to work on an OTT project in Bengali that unites the imagination of theatre with reality of films. His inspiration lies in the works of Lars von Trier.
Speaking about what got him motivated; Chattopadhyay shares “Films like Dogville and Manderlay house a sundry of theatrical elements. There are instances where we experience a soundscape of doors screeching without the presence of a physical door. Or, a car enters into a pitch-black abyss. I intend to give life to my untitled project on similar lines and will be working with prominent artists from the Bengali film industry”.
Over the past two years of turmoil, Chattopadhyay's proscenium directorials took a hit as we went into lockdowns at regular intervals. However, despite irregularities rehearsal processes for his projects did not come to a halt. Artists continued to train within perimeters of their individual homes of the artists. Chattopadhyay’s productions went beyond the proscenium stage to perform in open spaces when situations permitted in between lockdowns.
“As things began opening up we noticed a tendency of fear psychosis amongst the audiences. Gathering a house full of audience right after the lockdown was quite a task. We had left things upon time to take its own course and eventually saw a massive response. Tickets for our upcoming performance of Fyataru at the Madhusudan Manch on 26th December earned us thirteen thousand over a night of it going live”, adds Chattopadhyay who received the Girish Ghosh Samman by The Government of West Bengal in 2019.
He will be directing a play based on George Orwell’s 1984 which is due to take stages from March ’22.