One of the most renowned figures in Literature, William Shakespeare is every literati’s stairway to heaven. Growing up, reading was not merely a hobby, but an escape route, into a world so surreal, so sacred, a world you could truly call your own.
So when Shakespeare’s First Folio was showcased in the city for the first time, our hearts literally skipped a beat. All his works in one book, published in 1623 was up for viewing at the Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya)
The First Folio – one of the most valuable printed books in the world — sold at a Christie’s auction in New York for $6.16 million in 2001. This is the first time it has travelled outside of the UK and was exhibited till the 8th of March this year.
With at least 38 plays, 154 sonnets and over 1700 words contributed to the English language, his works are still an integral part of curriculum and his phrases are what our conversations are made of till date!
A major influence in theatre and Bollywood, Shakespeare’s works have been adapted far and wide. From Omkara; a rustic U.P. adaptation of Othello to Haider, an adaptation of Hamlet set amidst the insurgency-hit Kashmir conflicts of 1995 and civilian disappearances. The Shakespeare comedy theatre festival which ended yesterday saw the comical interpretations of Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear and As You Like It which were written & directed by Rajat Kapoor.
For the love of Shakespeare, our love for kebabs and our very special Lucknowi friends; we thought what better way than to pay tribute to the great literary master in the avatar of the great Indian Nawab.
So if Shakespeare was in Lucknow, what would his famous words be?
©Helina Desai & Nazneen Dharamsey, 2017. All rights reserved.