The play Indur O Manush is an adaptation of the American novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. It is a story where two opposites – the clever, wiry George Milton and the lumbering, powerful Lennie Small – move south from Weed, to work on a ranch in Soledad, California. They have recently escaped from a farm where Lennie – gigantic in stature, well meaning, gentle, but with limited mental capacity – was wrongly accused of rape. The story revolves around their ambition of owning a ranch, and the obstacles that stand in the way. It reveals the dignity, loneliness and sacrifice of the dream that seems all the more tempting for its impossibility; apparently unattainable but exceedingly attractive in nature in the light of the lonely, shiftless lives of migrant workers. A strong desire of stability and refuge of companionship motivates most of the action in which the dream of commitment – the central need of all men for a companion – represents the primary theme of the play. Lennie is docile, submissive and dependent, very much prone to episodes of uncontrollable physical power, and George is his protector, while the rest of the characters are developed largely in terms of natures of dreams, powerlessness, hope and despair and chiefly loneliness in the ephemeral nature of life. Their earnest efforts hinge on Lennie whose feeble-mindedness renders him unaware of the social stigmas that the one man who could serve as a non-judgmental companion cannot co-exist safely with others, be it a mere puppy or a lady.
In the backdrop of Californian rustic life of farmers and workers and their dreams dreamt and dreams shattered, it is a play with a sensitive approach to complexities of human relationships. In contrast to the omniscient third-person perspective, from which the director, and thus the audience, can read the minds of all the characters, the objective of view doesn't allow us direct access to the characters' thoughts and feelings. We can deduce those thoughts and feelings only by means of what the characters do and say. Though unusual for a novel, this approach is typical of plays and film, which helps explain why Of Mice and Men was easily adapted for the Broadway stage and as a Hollywood movie. It may be a story of friendship, ambition and dreams, but it ultimately succumbs to the predestined cruelty though a humane sacrifice, however brutal it may be.
The Director & Playwright
Debashis Biswas was born in Kolkata and graduated from Calcutta University. He started his career as an actor under the eminent Director Meghnad Bhattacharjee. He played major characters in different plays e.g. in Winkle Twinkle, Ruddhasangeet, Fataru Chatuskon Bikele, Bhorer Sorse Fool etc. under stalwart directors of Bengal. In 2012 he formed a group Howrah Bratyajon and directed four plays viz. Jayoman, Death Case, Anandibai and Indur O Manush.
Howrah Bratyajon was established in April 2012 with 30 members. Apart from theatrical performances, the group arranges various theatre activities like festivals, workshops, seminars etc. The group is also engaged in social service to encourage all-round development of theatre fraternity.
Cast & Credits
Lennie Small Sankar Debnath
George Milton Koushik Kar
Candy Debasis Biswas
Carlson Sambit Guha/Amar Nag
Slim Krishnendu Adhikari
Crooks Samiran Sarkar
Curley Sumit Kumar Roy / Prasenjit Bardhan
Curley’s Wife Tannistha Biswas
Wheat Atri Bhattacharjee
Farm House Owner Avirup Ghatak
Clara Aunty Kalyani Biswas
Others Sagnik, Abhisek
Music & Sound Effect Rabiranjan Moitra
Music Arranger Debasis Som
Music Operation Swapan Banerjee / Jayanta Paul
Set Designer Debasis Dutta & Kalyani Biswas
Set Making D Moy
Light Designer Sekhar Samaddar
Light Operation Sujit Ghosh
Costume Designer Sangita Pal
Choreography Bhaskar Routh
Set Props & Crafts Palash Chowdhury
Make-Up Md. Ali
Production Controller Kalyani Biswas & Amar Nag
Assistance Sandeep, Bikram, Surojit, Sweta, Rima
Original Story John Steinbeck
Script & Direction Debashis Biswas