To give an insight into Badal Sircar’s contribution to Indian theatre, this books sums up interviews, essays, dialogues, reviews and notes by the legendary director. Kirti Jain, the editor of book has a firsthand experience of working with the director. She has compiled the book sourcing all articles written on him.
All the written stuff on the director when he was playwright has been put under the section ‘The Beginnings’. The excerpts in the section give an idea about his personality and social concern. The second section of book centres largely on the theory of Third Theatre and the journey of Badal Sircar as a playwright, director, actor, and theoretician. The third section of book elaborates on impact of his work in different parts of the country. While reading through the book a reader might encounter varying focus of the time in the articles complied. While most articles in the last section have been written in the last five years, only the articles of Sadanand Menon and Mangai have been written after the death of Sircar.
One of the important element that is missing from the book is the true critical evaluation of director’s work, which the editor has failed to do. From maximum word to minimum language this book tries to trace the life, theatre, struggles and vision of an unusual master from a variety of viewpoints to bring together and analyse the wealth of his imagination, the significance of his experiments and also failures of his theatrical vision.
The book would be useful for discerning scholars and help them understand better the contribution of Badal Sircar whose struggle, anxieties, creativity and courage have made modern Indian theatre such a rich site of imagination and human exploration.
Badal Sircar a major figure from West Bengal became a national icon in theatre. He started off as a playwright with his deep understanding of the concerns and anxieties of the Indian middle class couples with his delightful sense of humour and wit. Soon he made an instant connect with the audience and brought a new energy and excitement in the arena of theatre. And unlike other playwrights, Badal moved to acting and direction.
The book is a part of a series of three books that Natarang Pratishthan had undertaken to publish on three Indian theatre directors Satyadev Dubey, Kavalam Naryan Panikkar and Badal Sirkar.