Shakespeare gets a Punjabi tadka

Ever wondered what Shakespeare would  have written if he was born in the 21st century? Piya-Behrupiya— the Hindi translation of The Twelfth Night, might be a good example of the same. Presented by Mumbai based theatre group, The Company Theatre, the play represents the North Indian culture in it’s language and characters, maintaining the plot of the original script. The play premired in April this year at the World Shakespeare Festival in London and its coming to the Capital next week. Directed by Atul Kumar, founder of The Company Theatre, the play is a musical comedy with more than 18 folk and self composed songs that thread the story together.

Radio and video jockey, Mantra plays Andrew Agucheek, a rich dude having a tough time putting across his feelings to the person he loves. His character has been tweaked from a high noble in the Shakespearean version to a rich city guy in the Hindi translation by Amitosh Nagpal. “I play a rich and handsome boy but my character’s looks are quite contradictory to his personality. He is a total failure when it comes to talking to girls,” says Mantra.

Another actor, Mansi Multani, who plays his lady-love Olivia also has a very Punjabi touch to her character. “Being a Delhi girl, the character came naturally to me,” says Multani.    Having performed in London and Mumbai, the group is very excited to perform in Delhi. “While Mumbai has a niche audience which comes to Prithvi every weekend, the crowd in Delhi is more happy-go-lucky and fun loving. They are very expressive and spontaneous in their reactions. I am sure Delhiites will like the play more than Mumbaikars,” says the director of the play.


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