KIRAN, the Knowledge-based Intercommunity Relationship and Awareness Network, has organised Cardiff Theatre Festival on 13 July 2019. Two theatre teams, namely Muktomoncho from Bristol and Majlish from the Netherlands have taken part in the festival in addition to KIRAN’s own theatre team, Cardiff Theatre. Approximately 150 people have attended the programme including artists and audience. Mr Raj K Aggarwal, the honorary Consul of India in Wales has been gracefully present on the day and inspired the participants and audience with his speech.
The programme included 2 stage plays and one audio play. The details of the performances are as follows:
Performance by Muktomoncho
Muktomoncho is a reputable Bengali cultural group from Bristol. It has been promoting Bengali culture and heritage in the UK for the last 40 years. The play staged by Muktomoncho was called ‘Nakshikantha’. It was written and directed by Bristol-based veteran Bengali director, Mr Pabitra Ghosh. The drama depicted the struggle and fight of a woman in rural Bangladeshi setting to uphold her love for her husband. This was a well-written love story based on the writing of Poet Jasimmuddin, a famous Bengali poet.
Artists from Bristol and Cardiff have participated in this play. Nakshikantha was in the Bengali language while English translations were given to the audience who do not understand Bengali.
Performance by Cardiff Theatre, the KIRAN Theatre Team
Cardiff Theatre, which is a project by KIRAN, has staged a play called ‘Murder on MV Nicobar’. It was a murder mystery written and directed by Cardiff based theatre practitioner, Anirban Mukhopadhyay. Anirban has been a playwright, actor and director for more than last 20 years. He has written, acted and directed plays in Bengali and English. The story was about the belief and conviction of a woman and how far she can fight to protect her ‘love’. Actors and technicians from Cardiff and Penarth have taken part in the play. This play was staged in English.
Performance by Majlish
Majlish is Bengali Theatre Group based in the Netherlands. They have presented an audio theatre which was directed by Mr Pranesh Chatterjee, a well-known Bengali actor-director based in the Netherlands. The audio play was in Bengali with English translations given to the audience for ease of understanding.
Impact of Cardiff Theatre Festival
Cardiff Theatre Festival 2019, which has been organised by KIRAN, has been attended by approximately 120 audiences. The spectators included people from Indian, Bengali, Gujrati, Bangladeshi, White British, African, Nigerian and Kenyan backgrounds. The programme has the following positive outcomes:
1) The participants got the opportunity to talk to people from different backgrounds and culture and connect with them.
2) The plays referred to the traditions and cultures prevalent in rural Bengal and Urban India. This was educational for those who have never experienced the culture.
3) Mr Raj K Aggarwal has highlighted in his speech the importance of Art and Culture in promoting wellbeing in local communities. We are thankful to Mr Aggarwal for his kind and continuous support.