The Bard's best, all in 100 minutes

Tuesday, 3 December 2013 - 11:54am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Shakespeare's 37 plays and 154 sonnets will be brought together in one abridged act.

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to bring all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays and 154 sonnets together in one abridged act? You don’t have to look too far anymore, as Schitzengiggles Productions will do exactly that in ‘Centrestage — The Compleat Wrks Of Wllm Shkspr (abridged)’  at the National Centre for the Performing Arts’ annual theatre festival.

The play, in a shortened format,  being performed by three actors is based on a script by Americans Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield.

“The trio has extensively travelled with this play to both sides of the Atlantic, only to get wide appreciation. The moment I read the script, I knew I wanted to do this,” says Aadar Malik, 36, who along with Brij Bhakta, 31, and Neville Shah, 32, are going to play several characters in the play.

According to Malik, “The writing offers a lot of scope to adapt and add socio-cultural references and nuances enhancing the humour.”

Both Bhakta and Shah agree that this is nothing like they’ve anything they have done before. “All of us have seen adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, but this is a completely different spin on the Bard. This is what makes it both challenging and fulfilling as actors,” says Shah.

In fact, Malik was part of Piya Behroopiya, a Hindi translation of the Bard’s Twelfth Night, where Shakespearean drama met the native nautanki. “Ever since Piya Behroopiya, I had been toying with the idea of taking on Shakespearean text head-on, since many are shy to adapt it. The Compleat Wrks Of Wllm Shkspr (abridged), offered us that opportunity.”

The trio has lived with the play for a better part of 2013. “Once we got the rights, it took six months to get all the modalities in place and then two months on the floor with rehearsals,” says Malik, adding, “The thought of putting it out there for audiences to react to can at once be exciting and cause some anxiety too.”

Would the Bard have approved? Go watch and find out for yourself.

Where: NCPA Experimental Theatre

When: December 4

Timing: 7pm onwards

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