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Hackney Empire - Hamlet the Clown Prince

Directed by Rajat Kapoor

Hackney Empire Wed 23 – Sat 26 March for 7 performances.

Rajat Kapoor’s award winning international production comes to the UK for three weeks from Tuesday 8 March to Saturday 26 March. It will be seen at Northern Stage Newcastle 8 – 12 March, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry 16 - 19 March, and Hackney Empire from Wednesday 23 March – Saturday 26 March for 7 performances.

This Cinematograph Production is presented by NFA International Arts & Culture, Teamwork Productions and Hackney Empire.

Hamlet The Clown Prince opened in Mumbai at the Privthi Theatre in 2008 and won 5 Awards at the 2009 Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (the Indian equivalent of the Olivier Awards) including Best Play, Best Director Rajat Kapoor, Best Actor Atul Kumar, best supporting actor and best costume design. Since then it has been presented all over India and at international festivals in Jakarta, Singapore and Amsterdam.

(It’s a comedy rather than a serious attempt at Shakespeare). A group of clowns, four male and two female, attempt to put on their own production. In trying to understand it they sometimes misinterpret the text, sometimes make a mess of the order of things as if the pages of the script got mixed up, and sometimes confuse their own lives with their fictional characters. But through it all they are simply looking for the essence of Hamlet and trying to find a context for our own times. In doing so, they sometimes find new meaning.

The play is directed by Rajat Kapoor, a leading actor, director and producer in India most known in the UK for his role in Mira Nair’s ‘Monsoon Wedding’. His production of Raghu Romeo in 2003 won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and he has won National Film Awards three times. He works in theatre and film as an actor, writer, and director. In his most recent film ‘Mithya’ the lead character is based on the character of Hamlet.

The Privthi Theatre was created by Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal (sister of Felicity) in 1978.

Hackney Empire
291 Mare Street London E 8 1 EJ Box Office 020 8985 2424
Perfs Weds – Sat 7.30pm,
Mats Weds, Thurs, Sat 2.30pm
Ticket prices £8 - £20
Running time 90 minutes Overground to Hackney Central, Buses 30, 38, 48, 55, 106, 236, 242, 253, 254, 276, 277
See website for workshops

20 February 2011