The Saudha celebration of T.S. Eliot’s the Waste Land and Kazi Nazrul Islam’s Bidrohi ended up with a flood of praises by housefull of appreciative audiences last Sunday at the Rich Mix in East London. A good mix of audiences from both Indian and non-Indian,  academic and ordinary art-lovers gave  almost a four minutes long ovation for the unique theatrical production called The Rebel and The Waste Land based on the two time-winning literary works of 20th century – T.S Eliot’s the Waste Land and Kazi Nazrul Islam’s Bidrohi.  

Staged as part of the Freedom and Independence Theatre Festival by Tower Hamlets Council and hosted by Saudha Society of Poetry and Indian Music, a leading global literature and music platform in the UK, the theatrical production featured the presentation of these two important art-works through acting, live music and reciting by the prominent actors and elocutionists from different cities in the UK. 

David Simmons, a producer of music and spoken-word performances, and one of the audiences in Rich Mix, said, “I am immensely moved by the real depth and commitment that every performer showed; the respect and passion they gave for poetry and the production as a whole was simply brilliant. I especially loved the ending  where two traditions merged so beautifully.”

Dorin Baker, another audience and a core poetry-connoisseur said “This is indeed a fantastic illumination of Eliot and the other  poet, Nazrul, that first time I ever heard tonight in this performance. I loved how it gradually portrayed both similarities and dissimilarities of two poets and how they ended in one common point. I absolutely loved the dedication and passion of all performers all the way through. It’s certainly a memorable and equally educational experience for me.” Ashvin Devsundaram, a senior lecturer of World Cinema at Queen Mary University dubbed this production as ‘exquisite and impactful’ while Rashmi Varma, a professor of English literature from Warwick University said “what this beautiful evening and this performance has brought out is that the poetry transcends all borders. This is something that I am taking away from this production tonight”Nandini Chatterjee, a Professor of History from the Exeter university said “I read Kazi Nazrul Islam’s poetry beofre but this outstanding production has now inspired me to read T.S.Eliot more and more.”

The former governor of Cayman Island, recently retired top British diplomat Anwar Chowdhury said, the production gave two wonderful interpretations of Shantih, which is tranquility in my understanding, through two different expressions. My passion has been, throughout my life, to connect two countries I love. And this is one other way of achieving it, through exchanging arts, literature and music. I feel privileged for being able to experience this wonderful production and I thoroughly enjoyed it”
Director of the production and the founder of Saudha poet Ahmed Kaysher said, “Since the launch of this production in Leeds last month, we have been receiving a huge response. A house-packed audience from different traditions  joined in each session and they loved the way we mingled two major works both structurally and philosophically. The production is now getting ready to visit Bangladesh, India and a few other cities around Europe.” 

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