Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Shakespeare with a traditional twist

Mumbai: A multilingual production of Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream will hit theatres in Mumbai from Tuesday.

This lavish production could very well change your idea about how Shakespearean dramas should be staged.

This British Council production of A Midsummer Night's Dream has a tongue twisting variety of languages - 'He probably would' - and folk traditions that tear down common notions of Shakespearean plays.

British director Tim Supple is overseeing an ensemble of performers from India and Sri Lanka, who bring to the stage their regional dance and theatre traditions to complement Shakespeare's original drama.

"Some of the most exciting actors are not working in either English or Hindi. It's good to explore different aspects in theatre," says Supple.

The play uses physical theatre to maximum effect. The experience for the 40 actors and dancers who have come from diverse backgrounds was unlike anything that the Bard might have conjured up.

Says one of the actors, Yuki Ellias, "They play is almost aerodynamic. We climb ropes and the grid. We explore all the aspects of physical theatre."

This production ties India's multi lingual folk traditions with western theatre and the result is Shakespeare like you've never seen or heard before.

This East-West production of A Midsummer Night's Dream is now headed to the year long Complete Works festival in England, which begins in June.

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