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November 13, 2011

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A clownish look at Shakespeare

THERE are so many stage versions of Shakespeare's classic tragedy "Hamlet" that it's amazing how writers and directors keep coming up with fresh interpretations.

India Cinematograph Company will stage "Hamlet: the Clown Prince" at STA Theater on November 17-18 as part of the 13th China Shanghai International Arts Festival.

Famous Indian actor, writer and director Rajat Kapoor takes the helm and he tries to portray the destiny of Hamlet in a new light-hearted way.

"The storyline will be more condensed and intense after eliminating some unimportant scenes," says Xue Weijun, a theater critic from Shanghai Theater Academy. "The play also shows the performers' courageous efforts to adapt Shakespeare's works for a younger audience."

The original script is newly interpreted by Kapoor. The characters, portrayed as clowns, in the play will make a mess of the script's original order and mix some lines from the play with gibberish. With their humor and body movements, the clowns explore the essence of "Hamlet" and find some new meaning in the classic.

Over the past four years, the play has amazed and tickled audiences in many countries including Singapore and the United Kingdom. It has become a resident performance at Prithvi Theater in Mumbai, India. "Hamlet: The Clown Prince" has received the Mahindra Excellence in Theater Awards, the highest honor in Indian theater.

Date: November 17-18, 7:30pm

Venue: STA Theater

Tickets: 100-280 yuan

Tel: 6217-2426, 6248-5600


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