Director Tim Supple is known for highly visual, musical and imaginative theatrical events, often the reworking and adaptations of classic works. He describes himself as a director who has always been interested in theater that is alive in the body as well as the mind. Supple was the only British artist working with performers, designers and technicians drawn from all over India and Sri Lanka. In January 2005, Supple traveled to Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai to see the work of performining artists of all sorts. Then in April he spent four weeks traveling thousands of miles across the subcontinent, working with hundreds of actors, musicians, dancers, folk artists, singer and choreographers in order to select his cast. After two weeks of design work with his team in London, Supple went to India in December 2005 for a rehearsal process that would last seven weeks prior to the play’s opening in Delhi in April 2006.
"The seven weeks of rehearsal were unusual for us. We lived, ate and worked together around the clock. Rehearsals would start at 9am and finish at 9pm—later if we wished. One evening we chose to work through the night. We had no rules, no structures or routines to observe other than those we made up. We worked on every aspect of performance demanded by Shakespeare—the most demanding of dramatists—physical, psychological, vocal and musical. The performers learnt from each other, seeking to understand each other’s performance language as much as each other’s language of speech … It was a time of rare harmony and creative focus in which common ground and shared language were discovered.
For me the text is crucial, but it is not about the text, but what is inside the texts. Some actors in English could speak the text better than an actor in Hindi or Tamil, but they don't necessarily access the meaning.
Seeing and hearing the Dream come alive in the seven languages and multitude of approaches of an Indian cast has scoured clean my perception of the play. We are looking for the play itself: the play that waits for us beyond the clichés so ingrained in the way we speak and hear Shakespeare."
– Tim Supple