Well known Indian actor and director, Atul Kumar, seen as the cold and callous Inspector Paul in the crime thriller Talvar, brings Shakespeare’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to Singapore, but with a twist and a new title, 'Khwab-Sa'.
The play will be performed during Kalaa Utsavam at the Esplanade Theatre Studio from Nov 17 to 19, at 3pm and 8pm.
Atul had a chance entry into the world of theatre when he had to fill-in for an actor. This was in St. Xavier's School Delhi when, at age 14, he was asked to replace another actor for a play called, Afraid of the Dark. He played the role of a Mexican inmate to complete mastery, winning the best actor’s award for the role. The accolade hooked him to being in the limelight for ever.
Atul went on to become a part of a theatre group called Chingari, which produced experimental modern drama in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Its first play was Girish Karnad’s Tughlaq. Another member of Chingari was Rajat Kapoor, who cast Kumar in his first play, Marx Frisch’s Firebugs. Rehearsals were reportedly held in the toilets of IIT Delhi.
Atul went on to train in Indian dance form, Kathakali and Kalarippayattu, a martial art, which originated in Kerala, Southern India.
Audiences in Singapore will get to witness, Mumbai-based Kumar's unique application of contemporary dance and Hindi gibberish to a Shakespeare play. Kumar's, fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania, will be seen arguing in operatic tempo, lovers expressing their angst through contemporary dance, and a theatre troupe of 16 dancers and village bumpkins talk gibberish.
Khwaab-Sa follows Piya Behrupiya, a retelling of Twelfth Night as a nautanki that won the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards and travelled to 18 countries since it opened at the Globe Theatre in London in 2012.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the most performed play of Shakespeare. It has also been played in many different art forms like ballet, opera, contemporary performance forms, and of course film and theatre.