Mumbai: Celebrated writer William Shakespeare, a well-known English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist, has a universal appeal across the globe in all languages. It is proudly said that the iconic London playwright, and the creator of Hamlet, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet has bequeathed his tragedies and comedies, his sonnets and verse, which would survive for ages.
Taking a leaf from his book, “What’s In A Name”, an upcoming theatre company helmed by producer Kanupriya Pandit is gearing up in staging a Shakespearean English comedy, The Taming Of The Shrew, in January 2018. The play is being directed by Deshik Vansadia who will also perform a starring role in it too. The main plot surrounds themes of courtship and relationship. The sub-plot features a competition between suitors and the ‘ideal’ woman. It also highlights the gender equality between a man and a woman. All said and done, the novel concept to be noted about the play being staged is that the men will play the women’s roles while the women will portray the men’s roles.
Deshik Vansadia, the actor-director of this English play, The Taming Of The Shrew hails from Navsari in Gujarat. Deshik trained as an actor at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York for three consecutive years. During his stay in America, he also had the privilege of training at the renowned institution Shakespeare & Company for two more years. Honing his acting skills, Deshik found himself cast in prominent roles with various theatre groups. In Los Angeles, he performed the lead role of ‘Romeo’ in a Romeo & Juliet production, which was applauded and fetched him laurels too. From thereon, he became an ardent fan of Shakespearean plays, performing lead roles in a great many plays around the world.
Coming to this tinsel town, Mumbai, Deshik Vansadia built upon his acting tutelage, securing versatile roles in plays, music albums, television serials, films and even commercials too. His stay in America also helped him to speak English well and thus he finds himself comfortable voicing dialogue in English. Earlier, on the occasion of William Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary, Deshik directed an English play Measure for Measure for ‘All India Radio,’ which was about a saint who is fascinated by a girl. The play is aired even today every Sunday. Thereafter, he directed and acted in a play titled The Boy Who Stopped Smiling which focused on an extraordinary and intelligent 8-year-old boy who finds it difficult to interact with normal peers. The show was staged in Mumbai at the noteworthy Prithvi Theatre, as well as at NCPA and other parts of the country to a good response.
Speaking about his new play, The Taming of the Shrew, the talented actor-director Deshik Vansadia expresses, “In today’s generation there is a vast difference when we talk about equality between man and woman. The play sheds light on this issue. Even today, if a girl wears modern dress, she is looked at with an antagonistic eye. In most cases, it is the man’s power taking the center-stage. But the truth is no one should be treated big or small; irrespective of gender, one should share equal one-ness.” He further adds, “The play is in Shakespearean English; but the moods, emotion, and prose is all in Indian.”
The play is being staged not only in Mumbai, but also in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Rajasthan and other places too. With its controversial, contemporary themes, the Shakespearean drama is sure to spur debate and attract large audiences.