A delightful musical comedy
Shakespeare’s plays are like water they can fit into any timeline and take a new color while retaining the original taste and this was evident at the...
Shakespeare’s plays are like water they can fit into any timeline and take a new color while retaining the original taste and this was evident at the staging of “Piya Behrupia” a Hindi translation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”
Thirty teams have battled it over the weeks and on Sunday it was time to celebrate and they did that in style. Company Theatre, Mumbai staged and performed, “Piya Behrupia”, the Hindi translation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at The Park to mark the finale of SKitS. Directed by the legendary Atul Kumar, the audience saw the likes of Mantra Mugdh, Amitosh Nagpal, Geetanjali Kulkarni and many more on stage weaving the story with their talent.
Shakespeare’s plays are like water they can fit into any timeline and take a new color while retaining the original taste and this was evident here. We all have read and grown up with Shakespeare either in our course books or as literary interest and I am too small a speck on the horizon to even talk about the story. However, I can talk about the performance and with a lot of pleasure.
The mad story of cross dressing, sword fighting, heart breaking, mistaken identities and un-reciprocated love got madder as each and every actor stepped on stage. The talent was unmatched and it just kept getting better with the introduction of each character. As the director Atul Kumar said in an interview, “I don’t direct, I just watch the actors bring in their own elements with each rehearsals. The show that you see today may be completely different after 50 shows.”
Having performed over 100 shows across continents, one does start forming his own theories about the success of this production, and this is mine. I think the creative liberty that Atul Kumar gives to his actors that makes it such a treat to watch. A musical comedy is always one of the most difficult genres to pull off, but the cast made it look like child’s play much to the delight of the audience.
There is always some essence which is lost of a story during a translation, but Amitosh Nagpal did a wonderful job translating this one. Whatever little was lost due to language barriers, he compensated with witty dialogues which had the audience in splits. After all it is not easy to get a thundering response for a Hindi version at the World Shakespeare Festival in London, if it slips even a tad bit, which “Piya Behrupiya” does not.
It was the good fortune of the city to have Atul Kumar come down with his team to perform here and I hope that the trend only picks up from here and does not remain an isolated case.