Dead Peacock - a satire on social issues
Theatre is not just a form of entertainment, but also a mirror which reflects all the darker sides, dissimilarities and evils of society. It addresses pressing local issues, and attempts to engage collective interest for issues that are taking place on a global scale.
Such a depiction of social issues through dramatising the tragic tale of a cleaner was brought to stage on Sunday evening, as theatre troupe Charuniram brought the third show of its recent production Dead Peacock (Mora Moyur in Bangla version) at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the city.
The Dead Peacock, an experimental drama by prolific litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq, had been written in English in 1990 while he was staying in London. Recently, the play has been translated into Bangla as Mora Moyur by the litterateur himself for theatre troupe Charuniram.
The troupe brought the play to stage on 29 March as its second production in a unique way. Theatre-enthusiasts are able to watch the same play both in English and Bangla during its staging. The production had been directed by Gazi Rakayet, founder and leader of the troupe.
Set in the ambiance of an urban locality, the play revolves around a cleaner who opens the play with quarrelling with a bunch of crows as he thinks crows are his competitors. He starts picking the daily garbage up in his dust-cart from the streets except for the dead body of a peacock. He starts fighting with a police officer over this and raises questions philosophically.
Through his conversation with the officer, the tragic tale of the sweeper, his woes, poverty, hunger, loneliness, his wife’s abandonment and fake promises come alive in the backdrop of the hypocrisy of the so-called aristocratic class.
According to Gazi Rakayet, the dead body of peacock is a symbol of urban hypocrisy through which the cleaner claims to lose his love.
“The play has every element of modern theatre, including metaphors, satires and more and we tried to do justice to it. We have plans to take the production abroad,” said Gazi Rakayet.
All the characters in the play which appear before the audience are easy to come across in our society. The real face of a politician, depicted in play, portrays his spelling skill on masses by uttering moral philosophy and fake promises, but his activity is exactly the opposite.
Gazi Rakayet played the role of the sweeper. Nilufar Nila and Golam Sarwar played the roles of a woman and a police officer respectively.
The set for the production was designed by Masud Hasan while Sudip Chakraborthy designed the stage lights.