Review: Hamlet The Clown Prince

Posted on Aug 13th, 2009 by Shuchi in Reviews, English Et Al, The Company Theatre

Hamlet The Clown Prince Written-directed by Rajat Kapoor, the promos said, so I went to watch Hamlet The Clown Prince expecting something cerebral, sophisticated and well-acted.

The play was not just that but more. Rip-roaringly funny, with a very inventive script and top-class acting.

The language listed for the play on the Ranga Shankara schedule was the odd "English and Gibberish". The play started off with a joker standing under a spotlight, speaking a peculiar tongue – a mix of French, English, and literally gibberish. It was difficult at first to make out what he was saying, and I was waiting for him to switch to English. The switch didn’t happen. More characters joined in, all speaking the same tongue. What did happen was that this weird, comical language began to make sense.

The idea of the play was to have jokers perform Hamlet. It was audacious and hilarious. The best moments came from unexpected references to contemporary culture – the Shakespearean story weaved in with Lion King, horoscope-matching, Michael Jackson, chick lit…

Knowing Hamlet is not needed to enjoy the performance. In fact there’s a funny moment within this play when a joker teases someone in the audience for not knowing Hamlet’s story. (I must warn you that some of the gags might not be very comfortable for the thin-skinned. If you take offence easily, take a seat far away from the first two rows.)

Rajat Kapoor was sitting in the third row, sporting a beard and looking somehow tired. He didn’t go on stage to introduce the brilliant cast. That’s the only thing he gets minus marks for.

An amazing experience overall. If Hamlet The Clown Prince plays anywhere near you, don’t miss it.

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Article by Shuchi

Shuchi lives in Bangalore (mostly), when she isn’t traveling out of town for work. She adores theatre and writes about plays she watches whenever she gets a chance.

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5 Comments to “Review: Hamlet The Clown Prince”

  1. […] Hamlet The Clown Prince […]

    August 16th, 2009 4:07 am

  2. […] if you sit bang in front of the actors in a comic performance, you are often a butt of their jokes. It isn’t for the […]

    January 10th, 2010 9:22 am

  3. […] have never seen Shakespeare enacted on stage (well, not counting this spoof of Hamlet), but I’ve always wondered how tough it will be for present day actors to enact. For Indian […]

    May 31st, 2010 9:42 am

  4. Shuchi,

    I watched this play twice, once at Prithvi, Mumbai and at Jagriti, Bangalore (with Kalki Koechlin) and totally adore it. At Jagriti, there was an interaction with the cast post the performance. You’ll be surprised to know that except for one actress, the rest of the cast is neither clown “trained” nor theatre “trained”

    July 11th, 2011 12:28 pm

  5. …the rest of the cast is neither clown “trained” nor theatre “trained”

    That’s news to me. Supremely talented cast!

    July 13th, 2011 2:00 am

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