Theatre

The King and the clown

A scene from Nothing Like Lear

A scene from Nothing Like Lear  

Nothing Like Lear emerges as much from William Shakespeare’s King Lear as it does from our personal experiences, explains director Rajat Kapoor

After the success of Hamlet the Clown Prince, Rajat Kapoor has devised yet another winner: Nothing Like Lear. Although both plays are based on William Shakespeare’s plays and have clowns as central characters, they differ quite a bit in structure. “ Hamlet… had six clowns, we decided to include one clown in this play. I was told that it might get boring, I went ahead with it nonetheless,” says Rajat over phone. His decision would prove fruitful for Nothing Like Lear has touched audiences across different Indian cities.

The play revolves around a foolish old man who laments over his tragic life and gradually turns insane. “ Nothing Like Lear comes out from King Lear as much as it does from our personal experiences,” Rajat observes and continues, “But the play is based more on the themes of the original than the plot. “It explores the relationship between parent and child, sibling rivalry, illegitimacy and ageing.”

The notion of self comes through from each of these themes and the play evokes a range of dark emotions from pathos to hopelessness.

Film and theatre actors Vinay Pathak and Atul Kumar alternate between playing the clown, which makes the play even more interesting as each actor brings their own inflection to the character. Nothing Like Lear emerged from a process of deliberation with attention paid to every part of the production. Like Hamlet the Clown Prince, Nothing Like Lear promises to be yet another unique play.

Nothing Like Lear, presented by The Company Theatre and Cinematograph Production, will be performed at Ranga Shankara today and tomorrow at 7.30 p.m. and again on December 1 and 2 at 3 and 7.30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.bookmyshow.com and www.indianstage.in.



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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 7:11:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/The-King-and-the-clown/article15616589.ece

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