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Shakespeare in fast forward

Now, you can familiarise yourself with the works of famous English playwright William Shakespeare within 97 minutes when three stand-up artistes will perform The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in Mumbai tomorrow

37 plays in one production — impossible? Three stand-up comics, Aadar Malik, Brij Bhakta and Neville Shah, will perform just that tomorrow with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), a 97-minute play that encompasses 37 plays penned by the great playwright William Shakespeare.

Aadar Malik, Brij Bhakta and Neville Shah
Aadar Malik, Brij Bhakta and Neville Shah during a past performance of the play

“This play is written by Adam Long, Jess Winfield and Daniel Singer and it’s being performed since 1987. They were nice enough to give us the rights to perform it in India,” says Malik.

Brij Bhakta
A still from the play showing Brij Bhakta dressed as one of the characters

He adds that the moment he read the script with the other two actors, they knew that they had to do it. “The point of the play is very simple, that is to make Shakespeare accessible to all kinds of audiences with a comical approach,” states Malik
The play will see the three actors donning numerous roles and as many as 50 costume changes within 97 minutes.

That’s not all; Bhakta reveals that several other challenges had to be faced to get everything right. “The biggest challenge was doing a non-stop show of this nature with no break. It’s just three of us performing, so there is no down time during the show at all. Along with the dozens of costume changes we go through in the course of the show, the physical strain is immense,” he shares.

Agreeing with Bhakta, Shah adds another point, “Making the play your own is another task. Even though it has its own improvised moments, the play is so well-structured that one has to find the best possible way to make it one’s own, without losing the flavour. Making it Indian was tough. But I am glad to say it’s done.”

While all the plays have been given importance, certain plays have been provided extra focus like in the case of Hamlet. “The entire second half of the show is Hamlet because it’s the greatest thing ever written,” informs Bhakta.

On: August 16, 7.30 pm
At: Sophia Auditorium, Breach Candy.
Call: 23538550

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