Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Piya Behrupiya

Writes Deepa Punjani in Mumbai Theatre PIYA BEHRUPIYA is a musical adaptation in Hindi of TWELFTH NIGHT, one of William Shakespeare's best known romantic comedies. Commissioned for The Globe to Globe Festival, which took place at the Globe theatre in London earlier this year, the play, directed by Atul Kumar of The Company Theatre, is a full-throttled take on its original. The adaptation by Amitosh Nagpal who also plays Sebastian, delights with an originality of its own and befits the Nautanki (a folk performance tradition from North India) style of the performance. Imagine a travelling troupe of singer-performers who set up tent and deliver an impromptu performance. It has a freewheeling quality to it and the actors make up for the lack of any stage design.

Sticking to the original names of the characters, the production nevertheless takes on a distinct Indian idiom with a variety of Hindi dialects. The plot is quickly underway with Viola (Geetanjali Kulkarni) shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria. She believes her twin, lookalike brother, Sebastian to be dead and masquerades as Cesario in service to Duke Orsino (Sagar Deshmukh). Viola falls in love with the Duke but he is in love with Lady Olivia (Mansi Multani) who in turn is mourning the deaths of her father and brother and claims that she has nothing to do with any suitors.

But soon enough, mistaken identities and romantic interests converge, and the comedy is set in motion. This also involves Olivia's uncle, Sir Toby (Gagan Riar) and their aides conspiring to make Olivia's steward, Malvolio (Saurabh Nayyar) believe that his Lady Olivia desires to marry him. To add to the fun, Lady Olivia, forgetting her grief falls in love with Cesario when she sets her eyes on 'him'. But all ends well as Viola's missing brother Sebastian turns up towards the end of the play.

More here.

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