Theatre not stepping stone to cinema: Abhishek Majumdar

Abhishek has written 14 plays in English, Hindi and Bangla and have directed 16 plays. Some of his popular plays are Harlesden High Street, Kaumudi, Thook, Djinns of Eidgah and Treadmill.

lucknow Updated: Feb 07, 2018 16:28 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Abhishek Majumdar,Theatre,Cinema
Two of Abhishek Majumdar’s plays have been made into films but he does not seem to be interested in them for now.(HT Photo)

Theatre should not be treated as the stepping stone to cinema, says playwright Abhishek Majumdar.

“In fact, they are no way related to each other. Cinema/television and theatre are not even close cousins. Theatre’s cousin could be classical music, painting or sculpture. Theatre is an art form, which is complete into itself,” says the theatre veteran, who was in Lucknow to showcase his new play Muktidhaam.

Abhishek has written 14 plays in English, Hindi and Bangla and have directed 16 plays. Some of his popular plays are Harlesden High Street, Kaumudi, Thook, Djinns of Eidgah and Treadmill.

“Theatre is an amazing art form and I am blessed to have contributed to it. But, I honestly believe that I need to work harder on my plays. There is lot of scope of depth which I am not able to achieve as yet. Theatre is like an ocean and there is lot to learn in it. I am just trying to learn every day,” he says.

Two of his plays have been made into films but he does not seem to be interested in them for now.

“Cinema is not the next step for me. I might make a film at some point of time if I find that medium or script interesting but right now I want to make deeper plays,” he says while dismissing the popular notion that cinema has wider reach.

“Cinema works on weekend-to-weekend basis but plays like Vijay Tendulkar’s Ghasi Ram Kotwal are being by three generations. I want to make plays that live even after we are not there,” he says.

Talking about cinema, theatre and money, he says, “From outside, the cinema and theatre looks similar but they are indeed very different. The intent itself is very different for commercial cinema. In fact, I feel too much money should not come in theatre. It is not to earn money. None of us is dependent on it to run our homes — like I teach, some work in TV/films, some job and are in other profession. If too much money starts coming in theatre then it will bring censorship and we will not be able to say things that we are able to say today.”

One of his plays Rizwan had been made into a film that did well in festivals.

“Film maker Suman Mokopadhaya has received an international grant to make a film on my play Jinns of Eidgah (Eidgah ke Jinnat in Hindi). In fact, I and Suman will be going to Kashmir for the film and in a year or so it will be made. But, I won’t be writing its screenplay as that is another form and I want to restrict myself in theatre only for now,” he says.

Majumdar does not rule out making a film. “I have a concept in mind. I want to make a silent film. One which has only actors and classical music. But, when will it happen, I don’t know.”

Talking about his passion, he says, “If someone wants to go in some particular field then ultimately he finds his way. I always wanted to do this only and if not I may have been in the field of music. Probably music would have been my first love before theatre. Music was part of my upbringing and my parents (teachers at JNU) were deeply into it but I did not take it forward and like a rebellious drifted from it but I know that I have it inside me.”

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 16:28 IST