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'Osama' resurrected on stage in Kolkata

'Osama' resurrected on stage in Kolkata

The play, christened 'Osama', revolves round the main protagonist Charles the crook.

Kolkata: Osama Bin Laden has been resurrected in Kolkata! One of the most controversial characters of world history is now being portrayed on the popular stage theatre of Bengal.

The play, christened 'Osama', revolves round the main protagonist Charles the crook, who considers himself an artist and believes that a man can do anything good or evil for his existence and that a human being has the right to trade himself or others for the sake of existence.

Charles sells various villainous ideas to corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and influential people. His notorious ideas range from innovative tricks to deceive people to that of spreading terror and, in a bid to sell the ideas of violence, he takes the guise of the posterboy of terrorism - Osama.

The Saudi Arabia-born Osama was hunted down by US special operation forces in a midnight raid at a 'safe house' in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad in May 2011.

"It is a satirical take on society where a person by his evil ideas tries to win over the world. He sells the idea of terrorism under the guise of Osama, but when his bluff is caught he flees," Gautam Haldar, director and lead actor playing the character of 'Osama', told IANS.

Haldar, a seasoned stage actor with over two decades of experience behind him, said the play was inspired by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's play 'Nekrassov' (1955) - a satirical take on the anti-communist propaganda.

"The idea of this play 'Osama' came two years back. But the play is inspired by 'Nekrassov'. The idea of Osama terrorizing the entire world came to my mind in a satirical way," the 40-year-old actor and director said.

The 150-minute play, a full-on entertainment, was first staged March 14 and is receiving rave reviews.

In order to make the character of Osama more lively, Haldar went through extensive homework sessions, including Hindi-Urdu lessons and close monitoring of television footages of Osama.

"Though it's a Bengali play, for several months I had taken Hindi lessons. I have learnt a bit of Urdu too. I have used a few Urdu and Hindi dialogues in the play. For the body language, I closely monitored TV footage of Osama," he said.

Charles, the crook, however, has a human heart and never cheats the poor. But ironically he is made to do several things which hit the poor. The crook with a human heart finds himself in the mesh of profiteers and political overlords.

The character of Charles has shades of a serial killer of the 20th century, Charles Sobhraj.

"I have deliberately not used the name Sobhraj but it is for the audience to decide. But it does have shades of Sobhraj in it," he said.

first published:March 18, 2012, 12:28 IST