(Last Updated on : 22/09/2015)
Born in 1934, Faridpur, east Bengal, Suresh Dutta and his younger brother Jogesh Dutta had little formal schooling. However, he took a diploma in dance and drama from the West Bengal State Academy of Dance, Drama and Music, and received training in fine arts from the Albert League Temple Art School and College. This stood him in good stead in his parallel careers in set design and puppetry.
Suresh Dutta started work as a puppeteer at the Children's Little Theatre, Calcutta, in 1954 and produced several shows with marionettes, of which Mithuya in 1955 and Dushtu indur i.e. 'Naughty Mouse' in 1956 became immensely popular. In Moscow during 1960-1, he learnt from the master, Sergei Obraztsov. After returning, he continued with the Children's Little Theatre till 1971. This year he produced his famous puppet play Aladin. In 1972 he formed his own troupe, Calcutta Puppet Theatre, which began its journey with Aladin. His next major production, the mythological Ramayan, came in 1981, followed by a spin-off, Sita in 1987. He toured internationally with his group.
Suresh Dutta was a fine showman; Dutta mounts his productions excellently, despite a predilection for somewhat simplified statements. His contribution as a stage designer has been acknowledged, his set of a warship for Utpal Dutt's Kallol i.e. 'Waves' in 1965 regarded as a landmark in Bengali theatre chronicles. He also constructed highly original decor for Bidhayak Bhattacharya's Antony kabiyal i.e. 'Antony the Poet-duellist' in 1966 and Soumitra Chatterjee's Namjiban i.e. 'Its Called Life' in 1978. Both were staged at the commercial Kasi Viswanath Mancha.
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