Sir William Shakespeare’s word wizardry has the potency to overwhelm and influence great minds. His plays echo the complications and idiocies of humanity, time and age notwithstanding. Romancing one such tragedy of epic proportions is director-actor Rajat Kapoor’s play Hamlet — The Clown Prince which opens in the city on September 5.
A comical take on the original script in English and gibberish, Kapoor’s production is about a bunch of clowns who decide to put up Hamlet, but sometimes misinterpret the text, find new meaning in it, try to understand it but often make a mess of it. “Clowns have been an old fascination with me, for their simplicity and directness in terms of storytelling. They are a lot of fun and can make you laugh and cry,” says Kapoor when asked what led to the play. “I didn’t follow the plot very well, edited the story, omitted some characters, have not stuck to the geographical details, but the existential issues and questions that the original play raises have been kept intact,” he adds.
Having performed more than 150 shows in India as well as overseas, the play boasts of a stellar star cast comprising of actors Atul Kumar, Kalki Koechlin, Sujay Saple, Neil Bhoopalam, Namit Das and Puja Sarup. Says Atul Kumar, “We have simplified the story. It also has a parallel story about a theatre company of the clowns which is very funny, engaging and the rendition is completely relatable, whether the audience knows Hamlet or not.”
Quiz the director on how was it working with such an interesting line-up of actors, Kapoor says, “It was not difficult at all. We would improvise, laugh and have a lot of fun. We didn’t know where we were going. We were just creating something together.”
Catch it here
What: Hamlet — The Clown Prince
When: September 5 to 7
Timing: Sept 5 and 6: 7.30pm
Sept 7: 5pm and 8pm
Where: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg
NEAREST METRO STATION: Mandi House on the Blue Line