With a star cast and a Shakespearean script, Aadyam’s new play sounds promising. What’s unexpected is how the adaptation of the popular comedy leaves you in fits of laughter with each dialogue. Directed by veteran actor and director, Rajat Kapoor, I Don’t Like It. As You Like It is Aadyam 2016’s opening play.
The play begins with a look into the rehearsals of a troupe of clowns, each with their own problems and doubts. When a new member joins the troupe, insecurities grow as every clown wants to be the star of the next play, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. But the director Popo (Joy Fernandes) has made up his mind. He casts the lovers Coco (Aadar Malik) and Mimi (Faezeh Jalali) as Orlando and Rosalind, while Fifi (Shruti Vyas) and Soso (Cyrus Sahukar) are set to play Phoebe and Silvius. But Fido (Vinay Pathak), who is crazy about Fifi, interjects and the role of Silvius is given to him. Soso is left to play the role of the melancholy Jacques, quite fitting to his own character. The newest member Gigi (Rytasha Rathore) is meanwhile given the role of Rosalind’s sister Celia.
At first, chaos and jealousy rule in the troupe, which leads to a comedy of errors. When Popo can finally take no more, an idea strikes him. He changes his cast in a way that all men play female characters and the women play male characters. Thus, Coco is made to play Rosalind and Mimi is cast as Orlando. The troupe rebels but Popo is adamant, and the actors finally give in. After much hullabaloo, they eventually put up a show, guaranteed to leave you in splits!
The performances by every actor were commendable. Even though all of them played clowns, every actor was distinct and exemplary as his/her own character. Aadar Malik and Faezeh Jalali’s performances stood out, as their chemistry was palpable and the movements rarely missed a beat. The overall choreography ensured that your eyes stayed glued to the stage, with every action adding to the impact. Vinay Pathak struck the perfect balance between tragedy and comedy, as commonly seen in a Shakespearean play. While the accent was needless, every actor created an uproar with their comic Italian, and Rytasha Rathore was flawless in French.
For fans of Shakespearean comedy, this is a must-watch. Every actor brings a burst of energy and spontaneity to the stage, as never seen before. While the narrative seems weak, the constant nonsensical comedy and hilarious punches make up for it, leaving you begging for more. The capital city is set to get its dose of laughter as three more shows of the play are set to be staged in May. If you are in Delhi, catch I Don’t Like It. As You Like It for an evening of non-stop comedy.