When you have some good tricks up your sleeve, it is also important to not repeat them. Tricks are as good as their first time. Then you have to find new ones. Playing off the old might be entertaining up to a point but it's like being at an altogether familiar show. The show in question is the Company Theatre and Cinematograph Production's new play, NOTHING LIKE LEAR. A devised performance based on one of the bard's famous tragedies- KING LEAR, the production, conceptualized and directed by Rajat Kapoor, is a mishmash of clowning, drama a la Bollywood style, and of select grand verse from the original play.
If the older C FOR CLOWNS was innovative and delightful and the more recent, HAMLET THE CLOWN PRINCE extended the earlier devices to a more refined narrative, the latest production, an obvious derivative of the two former productions, has nothing new to offer and in fact struggles to find meaning itself. Perhaps the only redeeming factors are Vinay Pathak and Atul Kumar- the two actors who alternate from show to show. This is a solo piece, very much dependent on actor-audience interaction, and hence demands good actors who are able to hold interest. Both Atul Kumar and Vinay Pathak are capable actors, who appear to be especially trained for this sort of thing.
But even as they play the clowns, indulge in tomfoolery; along with some seriousness thrown in for good measure, it's just clever delivery than anything remotely meaningful. The obvious charm, the in-house jokes, and a loose narrative with doses of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter - all hang by a thread. Clearly the ideas for this genre so favoured by the Company Theatre and Cinematograph Productions seem to have run their course.