Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

It’s the fulfilment of an old dream. Bangalore now has its second intimate personal theatre space, especially reaching out to residents of Whitefield, Indira Nagar, Koramangala and all their adjacent areas. The Jagriti Centre of the Performance Arts, the brainchild of Arundhati & Jagdish Raja, now beckons Bangaloreans to an evening peppered with the magic of the stage at White Field.

Amongst the theatrical performances that Jagriti brought to Bangalore in February was Hamlet: The Clown Prince. While this theatrical performance has visited Bangalore before, the intimacy that Jagriti allows between the performers and their audience brought new layers of meaning to the rendering of this play, all cloaked in laughter.

Two weeks later, this was followed by the Mumbai Boys presenting an evening of stand up comedy, another act that will enhance its impact when played out in the theatre of personal spaces.   

“Hamlet: The Clown Prince” and the theatre of space
Is Shakespeare still relevant to the twenty-first century? Ask a 16-year-old burning the midnight oil for her ICSE board exams, and she may tell you “no”. But Hamlet: The Clown Prince, directed by Rajat Kapur, pulled Shakespeare right out of the text book, playfully giving it contemporary relevance, whilst still remaining deeply rooted in Shakespearean tradition. It understood the rules well enough to break all of them.

While based on the original Shakespearean tragedy, the play used a combination of gibberish, English, stylised theatrical action and parody to give Hamlet a new interpretation, weaving in contemporary references at will. So a carefully crafted script found its voice in the hands of a very able director, who also views this play as a tribute to Chaplain.

The play has already been performed in over 75 shows in the last two years at every theatre festival in the country and has also been taken abroad. In fact after the performance in Bangalore the show was being taken to the UK, where I hear that it’s been very well received.

In Bangalore, the group also wove in references that related to the city into their city, drawing an immediate response from their audience.

Brilliant performances from the cast, who transitioned easily, from bawdy comedy to sensitive pathos, carrying the audience along with them too. They also revelled in the intimate nature of the space, drawing in the audience into the performance, creating new meanings and contexts to the play in an impromptu fashion.

A powerful play was brought to life on a magical theatrical space bringing, creating a memorable moment for theatre lovers in Bangalore.