JOY: Shristi Shrestha (left) and Gregory Thomson
Would I be able to be appreciate a Nepali version of Hamlet at Alchemy, I wondered.
In the end, this Shakespeare pro- duction from the Theatre Village of Kathmandu, di- rected by Gregory Thomson and with Bi- mal Subedi as associ- ate director, turned out to be hugely enjoyable. The acting was so it didn’t seem like acting.
It mattered little that I don’t understand Nepali, though words common to Hindi such as badla (revenge), prem (love) and the chanting of ramnam at a Hindu funeral gave the adaptation by Shristi Bhattarai a familiar feel
other than Hamlet (played by divya dev Pant), the other char- acters in the drama were given Nepali names. Thus, ophelia, played by Shristi Shrestha – who was Miss Nepal 2012 – was
called ojaswi. Kamal- mani, as King Claudius (renamed Kamal Bikram) exuded evil.
The play, in which all the main characters end up slain or poisoned, carried echoes of the bloodbath in the Nepali royal family in 2001.
The urdu version of the Winter’s tale could not be staged, sadly, because the actors from NAPA (the Na- tional Academy of Per- forming Arts) in Kara- chi were refused visas for Britain.
I, for one, would love to see the production, so one can only hope that the visa issues can be resolved and a new date set for the Win- ter’s tale.