Nothing Like Lear


The performance is one of the ‘clown’ series plays devised by Rajat Kapoor. Borrowing central theme from Shakespearean tragedy ‘King Lear’, it is a comical spoof which retains all the pain and sufferings of the tragic hero of the original. The play is performed by single artist who plays two roles – one of a circus clown, a fool; and the other, of foolhardy hallow King Lear. In instances he picks up the roles of the daughters and other characters. The interweaving of the contemporary (fool) with literature (King) show how relevant and how poignant Shakespeare remain in today’s world. How the characters are still relevant in today’s world even if the kingdoms have long ceased to exist!

The play is done very well. Hats-off to the director Vinay Pathak and performed Vinay Pathak (Atul in few performances) for keep the audience entertained with single performer on stage for around 90 minutes with no props. The play is enjoyable as the clown – the fool – shows his antiques and also digs on contemporary trends. Equally impactful is the portrayal of darkness inside King Lear who is betrayed by her daughters. There is not much in terms of stage decoration and props, which lets audience focus on the character solely.

With all the greatness in the performance and the flawless execution, the play might still not be enjoyed by everyone. For one, the series is NOT Shakespeare’s King Lear – this one is not even an adaption. Secondly, the play uses a lot of references and tells the story in bits and pieces. I am really not sure if a person will be able to understand the story if he/she has not read the play earlier. Thirdly, the acts and dialogues of the ‘fool’ are more like a stand-up comedy and not much play-like. Because of these reasons, I wonder if at least some audience may not like or enjoy it. Make no mistake here, the performance is done very well and is intellectually simulating, but…

AglaPlay Verdict: Should Watch
AglaPlay Rating: 3/5
Language: English, Gibberish
Duration: 1 Hour 30 minutes (Approx.)
Writer:  Rajat Kapoor 
Inspired from: Shakespeare / King Lear
Director: Rajat Kapoor
Cast: Vinay Pathak

Below are few relevant links.

Rajat Kapoor Interview
Making of the Play - Rehearsal Series 
Review with Interviews - HT
Complete Play [Original]

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