How many clowns does it take to recreate a Shakespearean classic on stage? And leave you in splits while recreating said Shakesprearean classic on stage? And question gender roles while doing this? Seven clowns across a runtime of 106 minutes, as seen in veteran director Rajat Kapoor’s clowning glory, ‘I Don’t Like It As You Like It’ premiering on your screens with Aadyam’s Digital Edition this December.
A raging hit, this play was first staged during Aadyam’s second season in 2016 and will be coming back for its digital edition as Aadyam takes the stage to the screen. Maintaining the authenticity of Aadyam’s distinctive theatre going experience to the best extent possible, Aadyam’s digital showcase will be a striking affair.
It will be recorded with a multi camera set up, enveloped for virtual viewing for three limited edition screenings via Insider.in’s digital streaming service for audiences across the country to enjoy.
With nervous excitement about their first play, Shernaz Patel, Aadyam’s returning Artistic Director says, “There is great excitement and challenge in reinvention. In taking a show that has been successful on stage and finding a novel way to reinterpret it for the camera. That’s what we have set out to do with all three of our Aadyam plays, the first of which is this hilarious and boisterous Shakespeare adaptation. We are lucky to have this brilliant lineup of actors with impeccable comic timing. They make clowning seem effortless. And a film and theatre director at the helm, who is a master of this genre.”
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Patel adds, “As with all Aadyam plays we dream big. We want our viewers to have a unique theatre experience with high production standards. That’s why we are shooting the play professionally in an auditorium and on a set. Not in isolation. Not on Zoom. This is the closest we can come to the magic of live theatre, because the actors will be performing together on the stage, feeding off each other. So beat those pandemic blues and make the stage your world for a couple of hours. Laughter is the only medicine right now. Let these lovable and joyous characters prove that to you.”
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On adapting his play for screen, Director Rajat Kapoor adds, “This is one of the biggest challenges – the process behind retaining a play’s identity as a theatrical experience. Traditionally, I have never really been for this idea of recording plays to be watched elsewhere, because I feel something dies in transition. For me, the play exists for the purpose that it was designed for- to be watched live. Ensuring what we present and how we do it, I believe, will elevate its identity from a mere recording to then hold a deeper meaning for the production and the audience alike. With this firmly in mind, we move forward to present this new version of our play.”
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A ‘visual marvel’, as many have called it, ‘I Don’t Like It As You Like It’ is Rajat Kapoor’s fifth Shakespearean adaptation that is retold through clown style theatre as the plot follows a group of clowns who endeavour to put up ‘As You Like It’. In the play, the troupe director has no faith in the tale itself and believes it to be a comedy that is ‘two laughs and a death away from tragedy’.
A lack of skill, rehearsal space and fondness for his troupe, creates a comedy of errors that takes the spectator on a hilarious ride, complete with gender role reversals led by the thought, ‘Shakespeare made Rosalind Ganymede. What an underachiever. I will make all the men play women, and all the women play men.’
This story explores the highs and lows faced by a circus troupe highlighting the fact that to find yourself, you must become the other. It depicts that behind the smiles and entertainment, these are just ordinary people dealing with stress, angst and the madness that is life.
This play has some of the most talented actors Indian theatre has to offer. The group that will clown its way into the audience’s heart, features Aadar Malik, Cyrus Sahukar, Faezej Jalali, Joy Fernandes, Rytasha Rathore, Shruti Vyas and Vinay Pathak who’s performances will make even the uninitiated theatre lovers crave for more.
‘I Don’t Like It As You Like It’ opens on Insider’s streaming platform on 7th December 2020, tickets are available on Paytm Insider
“This digital edition of Aadyam has been months in the making. Our endeavour has always been to provide the best experience for the consumer and continues to be so, as we go online with the plays. This has been uncharted territory for everyone and we have all been evolving and adapting our efforts to suit the needs of the new viewing format. We are all very excited to see the final product and the audience reaction to it.” mentions Brian Tellis, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Fountainhead MKTG that produces and promotes Aadyam in India.