Unruly Kid productions started performing the kitschy Bollywood-style Hamlet at Queen’s Hall on October 15.
According to director Kelton John, elements of tragedy have been deliberately suppressed to make way for what audiences of the 21st century want – Happy Endings.
Deviating from the Shakespearian plot, the play depicts Hamlet as an ambitious prince who kills tyrant Claudius the minute he gets the message from his father’s ghost.
Though Ophelia and Gertrude are very much present, the roles of Laertes and Polonius have been cut to accommodate dance sequences set to music by rock band Metallica and India’s Shankar-Ehsan-Loy.
“People were getting bored with the concept of the tragic hero. They needed a new hero who takes revenge and enjoys his life too,” says John.
Hamlet’s celebrated aporia, including his To be or not to be speech, is totally missing from the new production.
In the biggest twist, Hamlet does not die at the end of the play, which sees him cavorting with beloved Ophelia in a ‘happily ever after’ dream sequence set to Nach Baliye from the Hindi blockbuster Bunty aur Babli.(T2N2)