Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH) in collaboration with the English department of Jadavpur University is hosting a unique exhibition that will throw light on how William Shakespeare’s works have had an influence on Bengal right from the days when English was taught in educational institutions till the modern times when Bengali films are also being made based on Shakespeare’s works.
The exhibition, titled “Shakespeare in Bengal” is a part of Jadavpur University’s three-year project of the same name.
It will showcase photographs of his plays being performed on stage in Bengal from the late-19th century to the present day, visuals of costumes from his stories, stills from his adaptations in films, scans of ephemera from productions, including ticket stubs, posters, DVD jackets from movies.
The special attractions are scans of marginalia from books pertaining to Shakespeare pedagogy, syllabi, question papers, excerpts from school texts pertaining to his pedagogy, map of Kolkata featuring sites of relevance for Shakespeare performance, illustrations, scans of book covers of his adaptations/translations in Bengali.
Paromita Chakravarti, JU professor, who is the chief investigator of the project said there will be 40 panels in the exhibition and the last one will be on films. “We will showcase posters of latest Tollywood films like Arshinagar, Zulfikar that are based on Shakespeare’s works,”
she added. There will be transcripts of interviews with theatre and film personalities and academicians talking about Shakespeare’s pedagogy in Bengal and transcripts of songs from his adaptations. In addition, the exhibition will also feature an edited video featuring excerpts from Shakespeare’s adaptations in films and theatres. The exhibition at the Central Hall of VMH will kick off on Saturday and will continue till November 17.