Tuesday, 29 May 2012


24/5/12, Shakespeare's Globe

In Gujerati.  Part of the Globe to Globe season.

Considering we don't have a word of Gujerati between us, this was very enjoyable, largely because a packed audience of people who did speak Gujerati laughed heartily at all the jokes, of which there were clearly many.

How much Shakespeare survived the translation of the story to British India c 1910 wasn't clear.  Bertram became a young man, Bharatram, apprenticed to an elderly merchant in Mumbai, who sent him to Rangoon to do (illegal) business with a (female) opium trader whose daughter (imagined as a sexy Burmese dancing girl) he fell for, having run away from the marriage into which the equally beautiful Heli had tricked him with her mother's connivance.

Three-man musical accompaniment throughout, Bollywood-style song and dance, lots of colourful costumes: what was not to like?

I suspect this dispensed with quite a lot of Shakespeare's poetry and complexity and dug down to the farce and folk tale roots of his play, ending up somewhere that East and West could happily meet.

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