Like it or not, this is Rajat Kapoor’s ‘As You Like It’

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) There might be hundreds of interpretations of Shakespeare, but “I Don’t Like It. As You Like It” from acclaimed actor and director Rajat Kapoor offers an interesting twist with clowns taking centrestage.

“A bunch of seven clowns are trying to do “As You Like It” and their own lives and personalities come into play in this process”, Rajat Kapoor said.

Improvisation is the key for his play, said the three-time National Award-winner.

“Our process is based on improvisations; we go day after day, improvising not knowing what will be kept finally and what will be eliminated,” he said adding: “So, when finally we arrive at the play, it is a work that nobody had seen or visualised.”

The play about a troupe of discontent clowns, features actors Vinay Pathak, Joy Fernandes, Cyrus Sahukar, Aadar Malik and Faezah Jalali, among others.

With chaos ruling their lives, the clowns keep getting into scuffles. The couples in the troupe are on the verge of breaking up. They don’t see eye-to-eye anymore. In the midst of this, the director tries to put up another Shakespearean play, where the men play women and vice-versa.

Th rebellious clowns, despite all their fears and doubts, eventually manage to put up a show and in the process, discover something new about themselves. This process runs parallel to Kapoor’s own process of finalising what the script would be like.

The original “As You Like It” is highly irreverent of the conventions of romantic love and breaks with the courtly love tradition and ridicules those who revel in their suffering.

Kapoor’s version of the classic echoes the essence of the original while contextualises it as a fictional, but contemporary world of clowns.

“Clowning allows for you to take a perspective on the play, so that they are able to be the characters and comment on them a moment later. It gives us this kind of a distance from the play itself,” Kapoor said.

The play is the first in the series of five to be presented by the Aadyam theatre group.

Part of the upscaling process, this play includes elaborate sets and costumes, a departure from Kapoor’s previous plays about clowns.

“I Don’t Like It. As You Like It” will be staged on May 21 and 22 at the Kamani Auditorium.

This will followed by Arpana Theatre’s “Loretta”, Aarambh’s “Ladies Sangeet”, Rage Theatre’s “Twelve Angry Jurors” and Essay PPL’s “Chakkar Chalaaye Ghanchakkar”.

–IANS

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