Characters in the Play ‘Procession’

Badal Sircar’s unique style of characterization is that the characters are not types. They are representative and symbolic. The play Procession has characters like Dead Khoka, the Old Man, the Officer and the Chorus- One, Two, Three, Four, Five (men) and Six is a girl and the spectators

The characters appeared on stage from the audience only. When they didn’t have their performance on stage, they will sit among the spectators, so no entry from somewhere outside. The performers did not decorate themselves as characters. They played their roles as the characters but without characters’ costumes, make up, and so on. At maximum to let the audience know who is playing which character, the performers attached labels on their clothes with the names of the characters they are performing. To our surprise, the playwright did not give a specific name to any characters in the play. As they are symbolic of any person in the real world. His characters had names like One, Two, Three, four and so on.

At the end of the play, the characters joined hands with the audience by inviting them to play their roles. They all including the performers and the spectators started singing the positive song with the optimistic tone in the procession. This is how Sircar directly involved and connected the spectators through the play. Sircar actualised his intension of making spectators aware of his ideology and made them hopeful to change the current situation with a hope. Badal Sircar used human body instead of expensive material to perform. He advocated that human body is the most significant tool in the theatre. The use of human body through movements, use of human voices as the chorus used, wood branches, bamboo sticks for the music to create a very different aura in the play. Sircar rejected the conventional naturalistic theatre’s fashion of performance. He viewed that that the naturalistic theatre copies and applies, in short, it is all fake. This was generally known as ‘acting’. But the performers in his plays came down, came close, appeared as the human beings as they were, to the human beings that the spectators were. In his play, the characters were no longer fake. The performer had to take on his/ her own mask and be himself / herself.

The Third Theatre focussed on human presence and hence other theatrical elements and requirements became absolutely unessential. Lighting was reduced to minimum level, makeup was natural, props were removed and hence the play was produced with a minimal cost. Of course, all these innovations in performances did not came at once to Satabdi- the performing house. Sircar believed that if he continues doing experiments with the theatre, they would be able to do away with the costing and heavy items of Theatre. Hence, gradually a flexible, portable and inexpensive Theatre is being created.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *