Every time we approach Shakespeare, we must learn to see and hear again. The familiar must become unfamiliar and we need to face the words and story, free of the dead hand of habit and preconception. We need to trust what we actually find there and ignore what we are told or think we know or half-remember.
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. (I was fascinated to find on my travels how stale traditions of English Shakespeare, alive and well in amateur and professional shows throughout Britain, can also be found in Kerala, Kolkata and Mumbai.) We bring the searchlight of contemporary India—with its contradictions and tensions, so Shakespearean in so many ways—to illuminate with fresh clarity one of the world’s great folk plays. As always, Shakespeare gives us the most simple of surfaces through which we can glimpse the most complex images of ourselves. What do we find there? A dream so vast, rich and deep it cannot be captured in a sentence, a page or even a book. Like Bottom’s dream, it has no bottom. So we will say whatever else we might say through the show itself and leave you to find your own meaning in the Dream and our attempt to give it life for you.
– Tim Supple
Read an act-by-act synopsis of the play