Grant Period: Three Months
Jyothish M G is a theatre director working with Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, which is based in the village of Plathara near Thiruvananthapuram. This grant will enable him to develop and perform an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
The Malayalam adaptation of Macbeth will be evolved through rehearsals. For Jyothish, who has been developing this script with the help of the original English text and translations available in Malayalam, the adaptation will explore facets of the psyche of Macbeth, his internal conflicts, multiple personalities, fears, anguish, and greed for power. The psychological complexities of the central characters will also be explored through the monologues of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Banquo.
The production will not be concerned with the gradual build up of the text nor the narration of the story of the tragic hero but with creating “stage poetry” to express the deep desires and thoughts on the plight of human existence explored in the original text. It will not deliver on the moral of Macbeth’s story, but construct the equivalent of a ritual for modern theatre to express the root of madness and abject thoughts that underlie the play. Beyond the dampness of the skin, Macbeth on stage intends to provoke the spectators’ deep emotions.
The team will work with a skeleton of the original plot of Macbeth while using a chorus and video projection to layer the monologues. The use of multimedia in live performance, which is uncommon on the modern Malayalam stage, will be a significant innovation in this production. Video projection along with moving mirrors, will give life to sets and properties, infusing them with mobility and dynamism.
The first show of Macbeth will be staged in Thiruvananthapuram in early January 2009 followed by a performance at the Bharat Rang Mahotsav in New Delhi before the group tours in Kerala and other states with the production.