A touring production is celebrating the centenary of two important masterpieces of the 20th century – ‘Bidrohi’ (The Rebel) by the Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam and ‘The Waste Land’ by T.S. Eliot, writes Prof. Geetha Upadhyaya
Saudha Society of Poetry and Indian Music, a top-notch Indian classical and global music promoter in the UK, has produced this unique event which is being launched at Seven arts centre, Leeds on Saturday 2 October at 6pm.
Directed by the poet T M Ahmed Kaysher, the production combines acting, live music, theatrical reciting from the ‘Waste land’ and ‘Bidrohi’ and staging of Eliot’s interview with Professor Shiv K Kumar. “Eliot’s interpretation of Indology and especially his beautiful interpretation of Gita, will be a part of the production, too.” says Ahmed,
The event will also include “rare and relevant” speeches by Kai Nazrul Islam along with reading from both poems by leading spoken-word artists from across the country such as Becky Cherriman, poet Miles Salter, spoken-word artist Jon Erik Schelander, poet and fictionist Shree Ganguly and spoken-word artists Milly Beas Basu Kaniz Fatema Chowdhury, Mohammed Sadif Ehsan Ahmad Raj, Abhra Bhowmick and a prominent academic and poet Oz Hardwick will give a brief talk on the background, aesthetics and legacy of these two literary masterpieces.
The performance by Poet John Farndon as T S Eliot, Manash Chowdhury as Kazi Nazrul Islam and Shantanu Goswami as Prof Shiv K Kumar adds a new dimension to the event with an award-winning photographer Pablo Khaled interpreting the work visually.
Ahmed Kaysher, the director says “this is a symbolic merging of two rich poetic traditions of the world where Eliot uttered the meditative Indian Mantra ‘Shantih Shantih Shantih’ and Kazi Nazrul Islam, almost inflamed with anti-colonial, anti- sectarian verses were in fact portraying the same decayed waste-land in different ways perhaps.”
The production is touring to Rich Mix theatre in London on 14 November and many other theatre venues around the country in months after.
The event is supported by the Leeds Inspired grant of Leeds City Council.
The ticket link for the event: