Kolkata: Denizens of Kolkata will soak in the Durga Puja festivities in October by celebrating William Shakespeare’s life, work and legacy on the occasion of the bard’s 400th death anniversary. The British Council has tied up with two community puja organisers — Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab in north Kolkata, and Ballygunge Cultural Durgotsab Samity in the south of the metropolis — to add a dash of Shakespeare to the biggest festival in this part of the world. A unique audio-visual experience is in store for visitors to the two marquees, where “The Globe Theatre’s Complete Walk” — an immersive, multi-screen experience with 37 shorts of Shakespeare’s 37 plays — will be shown, British Council officials said here on Wednesday.
The 37 specially made ten-minute films have been screened along the iconic 2.5-mile stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge in London. Each film explores one of Shakespeare’s plays and includes scenes shot in the locations Shakespeare imagined when he wrote them — Cleopatra in front of the Pyramids, Shylock in Venice’s former Jewish Ghetto, Hamlet on the rocks of Elsinore, and so on. “The Complete Walk is an accessible, interactive way to celebrate Shakespeare’s life, work and legacy and is part of the British Council’s global programme, Shakespeare Lives, celebrating William Shakespeare’s work on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016,” said Alan Gemmell, Director British Council India.
Gemmell, who will be in Kolkata during the Puja and inaugurate The Complete Walk, said: “We hope that Kolkatans, enjoying the bright lights and high spirits of the festival, will enjoy the experience of the films being shown at two very different but equally renowned festivals.” “By partnering with these two very noted Durga Puja organisations of Kolkata, we are also connecting the cultures of North and South Kolkata through a shared appreciation of Shakespeare, who is perhaps as much an icon of Bengali literature as Rabindranath Tagore.” The British Council will also offer free public access to the library to everyone all of October. The five-day Durga puja carnival, beginning on October 6, celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga on earth to visit her parents, according to Hindu mythology. –IANS
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