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Didi shuts down ' pro- Left' theatre panel.

IN ANOTHER gesture of political one- upmanship, the Mamata Banerjee- led West Bengal government has dissolved the state's only Minerva repertory formed during the rule of erstwhile Left Front for promotion and betterment of theatre.

The state government has issued a notice, without mentioning its memo number and other government details, and arbitrarily hung it on the premises of Minerva theatre hall last week without intimating the repertory committee members.

As a result, staging of the play King Lear , the flagship production and the most acclaimed stage show of Minerva repertory, has become uncertain. Veteran actor Soumitra Chattopadhya, who is said to be close to the communists, has acted in the play.

Speculations were rife on why the play was not being staged under the rule of the incumbent TMC government for so long.

" The current state government has always been partial towards King Lear . I have also not been informed that the state government would dissolve the repertory now," Soumitra said.

The repertory was formed in 2010 with the initiative of former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who was known to be a cultural connoisseur.

" There was not a single stage show in the past six months at Minerva repertory. We were just sitting idle for the whole season which started in November and continues till March annually.

There was no initiative on part of the state government. They are indifferent as they think we are anti- government," said Ankita Majhi, a member and one of the performing artists of the repertory.

Sources said, the repertory committee is chaired by theatre artiste- turned- state higher education minister Bratya Basu but the official work is actually looked after by pro- Mamata civil society representative Arpita Basu ( who is also a theatre personality).

Insiders said now a section of pro- Trinamool intellectuals want their own members to be inducted in the repertory.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 11, 2013
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