A touring production is celebrating together the centenary of two important masterpieces of 20th century,  Bidrohi,  the 1921 Bengali poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam commonly translated as The Rebel, alongside the coming centenary of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land. Produced by a leading Indian classical and global music platform called Saudha society of poetry and Indian music, the production is being launched at Seven arts centre, Leeds on Saturday 2 October at 6 pm.

Directed by poet T M Ahmed Kaysher, this live music, spoken-word and theatrical performance incorporates Eliot’s interview with Professor Shiv K Kumar. “Eliot’s interpretation of Indology,” says Ahmed, “and especially his beautiful interpretation of Gita, will be a part of the production, too.” The event will also include “rare and relevant” speeches by Kai Nazrul Islam along with reading from both poems by leading spoken-word artists from across the country.

The production features poet John Farndon poet Becky Cherriman, poet Miles Salter, spoken-word artist Jon Erik Schelander, poet and fictionist Shree Ganguly and spoken-word artists Shantanu Goswami, Milly Beas Basu Kaniz Fatema Chowdhury, Mohammed Sadif Ehsan Ahmad Raj, Abhra Bhowmick, Manash Chowdhury and an award-winning photographer Pablo Khaled as part of the visual direction.

A prominent academic and poet Oz Hardwick will give a brief talk on the background, aesthetics and legacy of these two literary masterpieces.

Ahmed Kaysher, the director says “this is a symbolic merging of two rich poetic traditions of the world where Eliot uttered the meditative Indian Mantra Shantih Shantih Shantih and Kazi Nazrul Islam, a leading poet of 20th century from Bengal  almost flamed with anti-colonial, anti- sectarian verses; they were in fact portraying the same decayed waste-land in different ways perhaps.”

The production is touring to Rich Mix theatre in London on 14 November, British Library in December, the House of Commons in February 2022 and many other theatre venues around the country in months after.

To register for a ticket, please click here.

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T M Ahmed Kaysher (Bangladesh) is a poet, fiction-writer, film and literature critic as well as the director of Saudha, Society of Poetry and Indian Music (www.saudha.org), one of the leading Indian classical as well as global music promoters in UK. Both his poetry and prose are critically acclaimed for his new approach of weaving and new style of narrative. Apart from writing and promoting Indian classical music in the West, Kaysher’s contribution to the world music is significant, too, for his pioneering role of introducing Bengali Folk Music in the world-stage through hosting world-class events and festivals in major mainstream venues as well as adapting, directing, performing and promoting Bengali opera for global audiences. He is now entirely devoted in adaptation, direction, re-construction of myths, ritual, fables through new production of Bengali rural theatre (Opera/ Ballad) for global audience along with his ongoing film-writing and directing projects. With few other film enthusiasts, he led a film movement at ShahJalal University and founded an organisation called Chokh Film Society in mid ’90s. Kaysher co-edited an experimental literary publication called Paradigm in the early ’90s, too. Kaysher has been curating many major festivals all around the UK e.g. Baul and Vaishnav Music Festival, Ghazal Thumri and Kheyal Festival, Bangla Music Festival, RadhaRaman Folk Festival, International Dance Festival, The Gronthee International Poetry Festival etc. He is the key organiser of RadhaRaman Festival, (www.radharamanleeds.wordpress.com), the largest Bengali cultural event in the North. Graduated in Chemical Engineering at ShahJalal University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh and postgraduate in management at University of Bedfordshire in UK, Kaysher now works for local government in library and information services.


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