Hamlet The Clown Prince
If you aren’t a fervent lover of Shakespearean drama, especially his poetically tragic plays, you won’t mind a comical adaptation like Hamlet, The Clown Prince based on one of his most popular tragedy, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. After all, would you give up the opportunity to watch a historically tragic play enacted by a bunch of clowns, the very harbingers of laughter and humour?
But is it even possible to explore themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption that Shakespeare so painstakingly groomed in Hamlet, through clowns? Apparently yes. If you have enjoyed C For Clown, the first play in Rajat Kapoor’s clown franchise, which basked in the glory of its decade long run, you’d surely not want to miss out of Hamlet, The Clown Prince, the second play. (The third being Nothing Like Lear).
When the play opens, a clown delivers a monologue in gibberish — a language that sounds like an undecipherable, yet curious mix of English, Italian and French. It doesn’t change much throughout the play and in the end, you may even wonder, why the play wasn’t in English in the first place. It would save the audience’s efforts of straining their ears and perhaps, it wouldn’t have be any less hilarious.
Hamlet, The Clown Prince isn’t just a parody of the original Hamlet – it’s also a digression into the lives of the clown characters. In this version, they misinterpret the original script, take things out of sub-context and derive to their own silly conclusions — making a chaotic but fun clutter on stage.
In spite of taking shortcuts and liberties with the original story, The Clown Prince is an entertaining fare because it provides a refreshingly creative outlook on Shakespearean tragedy. It has its moments. Whether it’s the Soso-Buzo snide break-up bickering, Polonius’s hilarious mask-tape gagging or Fido’s uproarious dumb charades, you have enough to keep you giggling!
Cast : Atul Kumar, Neil Bhoopalam, Puja Sarup, Namit Das, Kalki Koechlin & Sujay Saple.