Hamlet gets a makeover

Hamlet and the Clown Prince, Warwick Arts Centre, March 16.

FOR years theatre groups seem to have been doing their best to turn Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet into a comedy. I don’t know why, but they have predominantly been failures.

However, the Company Theatre of Mumbai seem to have managed it by straying from the plot to the point where there are no similarities other than the fact that everybody dies.

Director and actor Atul Kumar reverses the usual character of the prince, presenting him as a madman prone to fits of sanity.

The red-nosed troupe speaking largely in gibberish manage to wilfully misinterpret the play, with Ghostbusters and the Lion King both somehow featuring.

For Shakespeare purists I imagine this would be a travesty, and a close on blasphemic theatre experience. But for everyone else, it is guaranteed to make you smile, if only for its quirkiness.

Jamie Smith

Verdict: Great fun