The Experimental; The Hilarious – Hamlet?
Reviewed by Anushruti Adhikari
Probably the most hilarious play running in the theatres right now, “Hamlet?” is the witty adaptation of Shakespeare’s popular play “Hamlet” at Sarwanam Theatre, Kalikasthan.
Directed by Ashu Sharma, The play runs on the baseline of the original story, but with a major twist that sets a chaos among the characters and reveals a new side of them which the audience has never seen.
Hamlet was one of the earliest plays Ashu had read, and the question “what if” helped him to create a wide range of new back stories, new connections and chemistries, but most of all, the comical version of all the characters, be it, antagonists or protagonists, ultimately putting the stage on fire.
The modern approach of the characters was the cherry on the top, as their “romance of the present days” were relatable and logical to the audiences.
The play is unlike any other in the Nepali theatres, as the experienced actors and storytellers have come together to set up a controversial but overwhelmingly creative play, which has been greatly appreciated by the audience since the first day of the show.
Parikshit Bikram Rana, who plays Hamlet’s character, had this to say, “When I first read the script, I was laughing all along but wasn’t sure if it could be pulled off. My first thought was ‘Will people take me seriously after watching a comedy drama, that too a spoof?’. There is a danger of overdoing or overacting in a comedy.”
Regarding the contrast between Shakespeare’s original play and this one, Director Sharma says, “The story is not to be taken seriously, it’s not something you go home and think about. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. That is all you should be doing.”
Although we expect equally amazing and maybe even better plays from Ashu and the team, for now, we know the best thing to do is hurry up and grab the tickets.
Only three more days to go!!
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Here is what Ashu Sharma, the budding theatre director, had to say about his play:
What other projects were you involved in before you came up with this one?
I have previously worked as a stage and sound manager. I started in the theatres since 2015 and was previously involved in the project “Anna in the Tropics” which also got selected for a film festival by National School of Drama in India.
How did the idea of this play strike you?
I was studying in Bangkok when I realized I wanted to be a part of the theatres and be an actor. When I told my dad about this, he gave me the book, Hamlet. I didn’t finish the book, but I did learn about the story, and it inspired me to create a version of my own.
How did you bring the crew together?
When I was working on the script, I contacted Divya Dev, and he has been a great help. I got to contact a bunch of artistis, but for the first few months there was some or the other problem when it came to the commitments. Some artists left, others did not. And with that crew we built a team, which you can see today.
How was the first reaction of your actors?
Initially I was not quite sure they understood the play. It was a light hearted comedy and maybe even different than what they used to do before. But as time went on we all loved it.
What were the obstacles you faced for creating this play?
I guess when we first started, the commitment in the crew was one of the obstacles. Later, we also had the problem of fixing the date, the venue, and even the set. The set was finally done at the right time, and special credit goes to Anna Aparna Deuja (Gertrude) for it.
Was it difficult to work with actors who specialize in the Nepali drama?
It wasn’t as hard as I thought actually. We worked our way through with interpretations, improvising and we all absorbed the play fluently.
What response do you expect from the audience?
(light hearted comedy, nothing to go home and think about)
And the future plans for the directors are?
Writing, acting, better plays for now.