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Making light of Shakespeare

Rapping Othello, presenting Titus Andronicus like a cooking show and giving Macbeth the worst Scottish accent possible is part of the challenge of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). The “longest-running comedy in London” is coming to Calcutta for six shows between February 19 and 23 at G.D. Birla Sabhagar. All 37 of the Bard’s plays feature in the three-man, 97-minute show, with some sonnets packed in as well.

The Australian team has actors Ezra Bix, Berynn Schwerdt and Tim Schwerdt in the lead, playing a gamut of roles, going through a multitude of costume changes (picture on right by Pradip Sanyal). “We are under pressure from the word ‘go’,” says Tim Schwerdt, who plays “most of the women” in the production. “Slapstick, high-comedy and low-comedy”, some improvisation and some local flavour have all been injected into the act, though the boisterous trio claims to have tried to keep the content as accessible as possible.

The play, brought to India by Encore Live, a Bangalore-based event management group, and supported by Hutch, has played to packed halls in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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