Critics often say that the greatest literary joke of the last 500 years is that Shakespeare was a playwright rather than a poet. But this is not to say that the poetic force of the Bard’s plays can be adequately sensed only after a solitary reading. To fully appreciate Shakespeare’s language, you need the theatre, the actors, the masks and the voices. And there’s no better exemplar of Shakesperean drama than the Globe Theatre — where Shakespeare’s own playing company used to perform, centuries ago.
Globe Theatre’s legacy is still going strong, with actors, designers and performers — some of the best in the world — contributing to the cause of taking Shakespeare to the world. Now this talented bunch has decided to chart international waters and stage a Shakespeare play Globe Theatre-style, for the first time ever, in India. The play to be staged itself being the dramatist’s finest — Hamlet.
Directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst, and organised by the British Council, play is being hosted at Bangalore’s Ranga Shankara theatre on 18 October, and will be live streamed on the British Council’s website, just so other cities don’t feel like they missed out on anything. But here’s a thing: every other city just missed out on the greatest Shakespeare show of all times.