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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

An ode to The Bard, albeit infused with a local twist

Chetna Dua, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 21, 2013
First Published: 17:24 IST(21/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(22/4/2013)

All you Shakespeare fans in the city who thought that The Bard was a part of history, gear up for the Ghost of Shakespeare as it readies to strike this week. Celebrating the birth and death anniversary of  the most renowned playwright of English literature, Sir William Shakespeare (he is believed to have been born and died on the same date, that is April 23), a group of youngsters from The Arshinagar Project are set to give a unique twist to one of his darkest plays — Macbeth.

Titled Macbeth of the Mountains, the performance (a mix of dance, music and theatre) is the culmination of a two-week long workshop in the forest of Kumaon Hills lead by international theatre artist John Britton. The play has 10 actors from different backgrounds, countries and cultures coming together to interpret Macbeth in their own language and behaviour — be it Finnish, French, Bengali or even Gibberish (a generic lingo with no actual meaning).

“What we get in the end is a contemporary and universal story of ambition, greed and the results of playing with nature that is firmly rooted in the classic that was Macbeth. What we want to tell people is that the spirit of Shakespeare has lived on. It still lurks around the corner in the things that are happening around us,” says Arka Mukhopadhyay, 33, founder of  the Arshinagar Project. The performance will be held in a circular space made of mud instead of an auditorium so that the audience feels as much a part of the story as the actors.

The three-day festival will also include performances at various colleges and schools in the city to re-introduce students to the relevance of Shakespeare in today’s world.

“The stories he wrote 400 years ago are universal. I find his words coming back to me time and again as I go through life,” says Mukhopadhyay, who started the festival last year.

Catch it live
What: Macbeth of the Mountains
When: April 23
Timing: 7pm onwards
Where:  Zorba The Buddha, 7, Tropical Drive
Nearest Metro Station: Ghitorni on the Yellow line


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