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Seeing Rajasthan in Shakespeare

mumbai Updated: Feb 12, 2015 00:32 IST
Manoj R Nair
Manoj R Nair
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news

A quartet of mismatched lovers, a troop of bungling actors, a duke, a duchess, fairies and a mischievous sprite named Puck — the characters of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted for a Rajasthani setting, with puppets, colourful costumes and songs, came alive at the Horniman Circle gardens on Wednesday evening.

Performed by the Ujaagar Dramatic Association, Jaipur, the play Kasumol Sapno, written in a mix of dialects from the Shekhawati and Dholpur regions, was performed as part of the Zindagi theatre section of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

The sprite has a task at hand: to get a love potion that the fairy king wants to use on the queen.

The fairy king sees Hiral, one of the lovers, in the forest, and decides to help her win the attention of the man she loves, but who loves her friend. The fairy king asks the sprite to use the potion on the man. The potion is used on the wrong man.
Meanwhile, Torsha, the queen of the fairies, gets a dose of the potion and falls in love with a man who has been turned into a donkey. The fairy king decides it is now time to sort out the mix-up.

The audience loved the laugh riot and gave the performance a standing ovation.

“I have seen a lot of Shakespeare. The way the play was adapted to a local context was amazing,” said Ami Parikh, a teacher in a south Mumbai school.

Ipsita Chakraborty Singh adapted the play into Rajasthani, and Ajit Singh Palawat, a 2010 graduate from the National School of Drama, directed it.

“I see a lot of Rajasthan in Shakespeare, in Macbeth, in The Merchant of Venice. An adaptation gives us full liberty, this is what we learnt at drama school,” said Singh.