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Shakespeare in Indian Languages


7th November 2013 - Neel Chaudhuri and Anirudh Nair's "A Winter's Tale"

(a Hindustani-English play based on Shakespeare's play of the same title) -
[Promenade theatre]


A WINTER'S TALE is a story of loss and redemption. In a fit of wild and unfounded jealousy, Leontes, the King of Sicily, convinces himself that his pregnant wife is carrying his best friend's love child. Leontes' jealousy turns to tyranny as the king proceeds to destroy his entire family and a lifelong friendship, starting a chain of events that spans sixteen years and two continents. Winter and summer, tragedy and comedy, Sicilia and Bohemia meet in this extraordinary play that has given us one of the most theatrically exciting endings in all of English drama.

It is a performance with vivid costumes, original music, songs, dance, and acrobatics. It has been designed as a promenade show, with the audience moving between locations, indoors and outdoors, as the acts change - a baby discovered by the side of a pond, a shepherd's feast under a thatched canopy, the enclosed claustrophobia of a court - each situation is framed in space in a unique manner that offers the audience a theatre-going experience.


8th November 2013 - M. K. Raina's "Badshah Pather"

a Kashmiri play based on Shakespeare's King Lear)


Badshah Pather (King Lear) is performed by a Kashmiri group of traditional artists working in their centuries old native form called 'Bhand Pather'. Bhand Pather, a form of farcical theatre, is said to have entered Kashmir from Persia through the Muslim courts in the 14th century and then spread through the rest of north India.

This is an adapted version of the English bard's tragic drama KING LEAR, directed by theatre veteran M. K. Raina. Shakespeare was being brought alive in Jammu and Kashmir as part of a unique experiment to incorporate elements of classic English drama into the folk theatre style of Kashmir, and now to Chennai city.


9th November 2013 - Atul Kumar's "Piya Behrupiya"

(a Hindi play based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night)


In the household of Olivia, two campaigns are being quietly waged - one by the lovesick lord Orsino against the heart of the indifferent Olivia; the other by an alliance of servants and hangers-on against the high-handedness of her steward, the pompous Malvolio. When Orsino engages the cross-dressed Viola to plead with Olivia on his behalf, a bittersweet chain of events follows. TWELFTH NIGHT combines cruelty with high comedy and the pangs of unrequited love with some of the subtlest poetry and most exquisite songs Shakespeare ever wrote.

The Company Theatre from Mumbai brings the Hindi edition of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Piya Behrupiya, a translation (by Amitosh Nagpal) of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. According to its director, Atul Kumar, the play has a "strong Indian folk leaning" even though it is a translation and not an adaptation.


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