“IT’S ALWAYS tough to recreate Shakespeare on stage,” says Sarver Ali, who co-directed the Hindi adaptation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ that was staged at Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Satvik Arts group, however, shone through with some taut performances that had the audience in splits. Ali and his partner Amit Sanouria are planning to stage ‘Macbeth’ next. Both belong to Madhya Pradesh School of Drama in Bhopal.
Shakespeare with desi slang is sure to win hearts even as the interjection of self-composed songs and music strengthened the themes of love, carnival and dark humour in one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays. Jyoti Bansal as Helena, Raja Subramaniam as Puck and Shivam as Oberon delighted with their acts, but it was Durgesh Atwal’s rendition of the vain and overbearing Nick Bottom that remained the highlight. Not only Atwal, but all the ‘rude mechanicals’ were cheered on for their antics. Shakespeare may be daunting, but the Bard’s connection with the people was not lost in this adaptation with simple couplets and a frank expression.
The use of old-fahsioned words such as ‘pritam’ and ‘priye’ were not out of place in an age where ‘baby’ and ‘sugar’ are the accepted terms of endearment. Versatility is the key, after all. Ali says, “We do a lot more than this. We’re trying to be experimental in our approach. In our workshops, we try to cover all aspects of the stage.” Satvik Arts completed three years of activity in the city on Wednesday.