Guwahati: The fifth edition of the Guwahati Theatre Festival came to an end on Sunday with the staging of ‘Rusty Screws’ – a rib-tickling comedy act written and directed by Meherzad Patel.

Besides the applause garnered by the animated satire led by actor Danish Irani, the highlight of the festival was the conferring of the ‘Life in The Theatre Award’ to one of Assam’s most acclaimed and multifaceted drama persona, Dulal Roy, for his exceptional contribution to the theatre over many decades. 

Nandinee Kalita felicitating Dulal Roy

Accepting the award, Roy said, “I thank G Plus and The Guwahati Theatre Festival for conferring the award to me. This award will give me further inspiration to propagate meaningful theatre in Assam and will also encourage the younger fraternity to dream and aspire to work in theatre.” 

A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Roy, through innovative mechanisms of light, music, sound, stagecraft, and modern techniques, gave some memorable and outstanding productions. He has worked relentlessly to preserve and promote traditional art forms like Sattriya dance and Ankiya Naat Bhaona

Ira Dubey in Vodka and No Tonic

The Life in The Theatre Award is an initiative of G Plus and the Guwahati Theatre Festival to recognise outstanding theatre personalities. Earlier recipients include Kulada Kumar Bhattacharjee, the Late Arun Sarma, Late Surkracharjya Rabha, and Late Shri Nipon Goswami. 

Nandinee Kalita, Advisor of the Guwahati Theatre Festival, felicitated and presented Roy with a Saleng Sador, a citation, and a cheque of Rs 50,000.

Chairman of Guwahati Theatre Festival Sunit Jain, said, “I am happy that the festival  ended with such success and we could present to the Guwahati audience a few remarkable productions across genres and subjects.” 

Taking Sides

The 5th edition of The G Plus Guwahati Theatre Festival was inaugurated on November 11 at Pragjyoti ITA, Machkhowa. On the inaugural day ‘Taking Sides’, directed by Atul Kumar was staged. The play had stellar performances from Atul Kumar, Sukant Goel, Mallika Singh, Richa Jain, Kashin Shetty, Kenny Desai, and Kashish Saluja that enthralled the audience.  

On the second day of the festival ‘Vodka and No Tonic’, a depiction of lockdown woes with a dash of humour was staged. In the packed house at Pragjyoti ITA, Machkhowa was captivated by this powerful script, which explored the play of relationships and emotions.

‘Vodka and No Tonic’ and other stories from ‘Lockdown Liaisons’ by bestselling writer Shobhaa De explored the fragility of human relationships in a collection of short stories that trace the subtle world of emotions as they shift and are re-defined within the four walls of the home. 

Brilliant performances by Lillete Dubey, Ira Dubey, and Joy Sengupta kept the audience completely entranced.  

Rusty Screws

The festival also recognised and rewarded the winners of the All Assam Theatre Competition, which was conducted at the Kumar Bhaskar Natya Mandir on November 6. The competition was introduced for the first time this year with a focus on encouraging and initiating young minds into dramatics and performing arts. 

The Guwahati Theatre Festival started in 2016 and has since become a landmark event in the cultural landscape of the region bringing in nationally and internationally acclaimed plays to theatre enthusiasts.  

The fifth edition of the festival was initiated by G Plus in association with The Assam Tribune. The festival was supported by Ballantine’s, Apollo Hospitals Guwahati, Oil India Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, State Bank of India, NEDFi, and NTPC Bongaigaon.

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