By Edeline D’Souza
The works of Shakespeare is great in all its forms, but this was something to behold in awe…and, of course, laughter!
The Dubai Drama Group’s rendition of all of the works of Shakespeare (abridged obviously) was a magnificent and downright witty, hilarious, stitch-in-the-side-inducing kind of performance. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” had three actors portray the diverse and countless Shakespearean characters with (no, I’m not going to say poise) but heartiness, courage and conviction. Romeo and Juliet, King(s) Richard-Lear-John-Henry-Edward (all in no particular order), dukes, Capulets and Montagues, witches and spectres, peasants, servants and shrews and all the supporting characters necessary to bring life and persuasion to each play.
With the most meager of props, a wide range of wigs, from long and blonde to curly greys and no stage settings whatsoever, they brought the house down with antics and ironies, jokes and jests, humour and catastrophe all in the name of drama.
They switched and swapped between acting and narrating, comedies and tragedies, conversation and soliloquys with all the ease of oiled hinges, fluent and fluid as if Shakespeare had never been done any other way.
I absolutely adored the humour and sly prods and was tickled with the play on words and the slight innuendos, and wondered, awe-struck by the unmatched abilities of these un-‘found’ thespians.
Theatre is unlike any other form of entertainment where many skills are called upon at one, facial expressions, emotions, actions, and lines. No mistakes can be made and no retakes can be done, it’s a now or never kind of situation and yet with all this pressure upon them, the DDG’s actors flippantly take it in stride and deliver their lines with precision, pace and improvisation without a milliseconds halt. They interacted with the crowd and kept everyone’s eyes open and limbs un-numbed, as we embodied the chaos of Ophelia’s mind.
The cosy setting of DUCTAC’s Kilachand theatre negated the need for any mikes or sound systems in a quirky, smallish crowd. I am unbelievably happy to have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to such a wonderful, avant-garde theatrical production.
When I say all the works of Shakespeare, I mean ALL. Every one of the Bard’s thirty-six dramas were covered in varying lengths of importance, including the very ‘long and heavy’ Hamlet. If you missed it, you must regret that which you will not know you miss. And if you watched it, I don’t doubt you share the same inexplicable feeling that I am trying, but failing to completely articulate.