'Jatra Samrat' Shanti Gopal passes away
Veteran theatre personality Shanti Gopal (Paul), credited with giving a new direction to Bengali 'Jatra' (folk theatre), passed away Monday at his residence in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district.
"He was very sick for the past few days and breathed his last this (Monday) morning. His body is being taken to Rabindra Sadan where the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) will pay her last respects," Shanti Gopal's wife Chaitali Paul told IANS.
Shanti Gopal, 78, popularly known as the 'Jatra Samrat' (emperor of folk theatre), was suffering from cancer. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Famous for portraying historical figures like Hitler, Lenin and Marx, Shanti Gopal is credited for transforming Jatra, which hitherto delved mostly into mythology.
Known for his versatility, strong stage presence and powerful dialogue delivery, he became a household name in Bengal. He formed his own theatre group, Tarun Opera, in 1964.