Madness on stage

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 6:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Rupesh Tillu brings a humorous take on one of the most famous tragedies by Shakespeare

William Shakespeare refuses to leave stage even 400 years after his death. Numerous plays and artwork have been created on the works of the bard, and numerous others have gained inspiration from his plays, poetry and drama. Rupesh Tillu's Madbeth is one such inspiration.

Mad act
"Madbeth is a devised physical comedy. It is loosely based and inspired by Shakespeare's classic. It's a story of Beth who is staging this tragedy for the first time together with his friend Banquo to cure the sad memories of his suddenly murdered girlfriend Anna and dog Tommy," explains Tillu who has brought the show from Sweden from where he received his MFA in Physical Comedy from The National School of Dramatic Arts. "It is slapstick, acrobatics, mime, songs and improvisations all in one," he says. Amidst thunder and lightening, three witches meet with Beth and Banquo, from there on Beth tries his best to live up to all the prophesies with his imaginary friend Banquo. Together they narrate this murderous tale sincerely.

Why this?
Tillu says that Madbeth was one of his thesis projects while studying at the National School of Dramatic Arts, which got its first version premiered in Decemeber 2009. "How can an actor be Here and Now was the principle question I was asking myself while creating this play," he says. Tillu believes in experimentation and innovation that can challenge the creator as well as theatre as an art form itself… theatre that is provocative and can stimulate the imagination and raise questions for its audiences. "Humour is an essential part of our work. There is nothing more gratifying than making people laugh," he adds.

A take on Bard
But how would Shakespeare react to this funny take on one of his most popular tragedies? "I think Shakespeare must be laughing with joy from his grave, thinking that his work is still relevant for experimentation and innovation after 450 years," Tillu says adding that "I have performed it in Europe, Israel-Palestine, USA and India. One thing is common around the world is that we laugh to the similar things. One of my questions to myself while creating Madbeth was - How to create a piece of theatre that will reach to people by demolishing all cultural and political boundaries? And I have tested the piece on four continents so far, so the bottom line is: We are the same and we love to laugh," he concludes.

When and Where: July 4 at 8 pm at NCPA

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