Asian version of Macbeth in Stratford
PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:45 26 March 2015
Three drag queens from Mumbai will be brewing up some trouble when they travel to Stratford this week.
An Indian theatrical twist is set to take over Shakespeare’s Macbeth for a powerful performance at the Stratford Circus from this evening.
Acclaimed theatre company, Tara Arts is teaming up with Queens Hall Arts and Black Theatre Live to bring an explosive contemporary version of the famous play to audiences in east London.
Macbeth will still be sent into a path of self destruction- but in a modern day Asian family setting.
Indian drag queens - known as hijras - will be taking over from the three witches to instigate treachery, passion and ambition.
Director, Jatinder Verma, said: “It is a fresh look on Macbeth but at the same time I have not changed the text.
“The three hijras from Mumbai will be bringing the comedy value and this lies in how audiences respond to them.
“At the same time the hijras will show a more threatening side, as real life hijras do in India, and part of the challenge is to see whether audiences can interact with this.
“So far the play has recieved positive feedback which is really encouraging.”
Actors, Robert Mountford, who has appeared in Casualty and Eastenders, will be taking the role of Macbeth.
Shaheen Khan, who is well known for her role as a strict Indian mother in Bend it Like Beckham, will take on the role of Lady Macbeth.
Jatinder added: “We have a great cast. Shaheen started her career at Tara Arts and Robert has performed with us before so it is brilliant to have them back and take up such powerful roles.”
Robert, who has performed in various Shakespeare plays across the globe, said he was excited to be playing Macbeth for the first time.
He added: “It is just one of those roles that you dream of playing as an actor and it’s realy exciting to perform an Asian version of such a classic.
“It is something that will be able to appeal to a much wider audience because of the cross cultural stance that has been taken.”
Robert added that he was excited to perform in Stratford, saying: “The audiences in Stratford are always so enthusiastic. It is a unique place to perform because of the atmosphere.”
Tara Arts was established in 1977 following the murder of Gurdip Singh Chaggar, a 17-year-old sikh boy, in 1976.
Jatinder said: “Tara Arts was built to represent the British Asian community.”
Macbeth will be performed at Stratford Circus from Thursday to Saturday. Shows start at 7.30pm.
Ticket prices start from £10
School friendly matinees are also being held on Thursday and Friday at 2pm. Tickets are priced at £8.
Visit stratford-circus.com for information.