Books On Stage
9th September 2019
Throughout history, many a fascinating tale has been adapted from a beautiful book to a glorious play. Two different worlds – literature and theatre collide gorgeously. The play retains the magic of the original words, while we get to put faces to the characters. And personalities, conflicts and joys become real, visible and differently surreal. With an adapted play, the reader now becomes the viewer & gets to enter & explore the metaphysical world of the book in a very tangible set-up. Theatre is perhaps the best suited medium to capture the nuances & the true essence of literature.
Image Courtesy – Crime Punishment: http://www.chicagonow.com/lets-play/2018/09/crime-and-punishment/
However, adapting a book to the stage comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, the book travels to multiple locations and time-zones. To depict all locations on the stage is a mammoth task that requires tons of creativity & thinking out of the box. At times, the length of a novel could also be a potential hindrance. Any novel between 300 & 500 pages could be too large to adapt – and this could lead to radical cuts & surgeries on the script – which may dilute the impact of the core story.
Image Courtesy – Grapes of Wrath: http://www.chicagonow.com/lets-play/2018/09/crime-and-punishment/
Despite the challenges, a multitude of novels have come to life, beautifully on the stage - from Dostoveysky’s ‘Crime & Punishment’ to Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ Nick Dear’s adaptation of ‘Frankenstein’ had the amazing Danny Boyle directing the play, while Benedict Cumberbatch & Johnny Lee Miller famously star in it. It’s become a global phenomenon. As has ‘The Kite Runner.’ Khaled Hosseini’s poignant and stellar novel has been adapted by Matthew Spangler for the stage. And now, we have our own Akarsh Khurana bringing Spangler’s adaptation to life, with shows in Mumbai.
Books on stage are indeed an experience absolutely unlike any another.
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