Amitesh Grover’s ‘The Hamlet Quartet’ is a revised version of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, integrated with Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The play has been cleverly adapted to depict the present day crisis of the modern man. While Hamlet represents the war against injustice and evil, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (the jesters) contribute with their wit and over-the-top theatrics.
While mourning the death of his father, Hamlet encounters the former’s ghost, and learns that the death was an act of betrayal by his Mother (Gertrude) and Uncle (Claudius) . What follows is the story of his revenge and the sacrifice of his love for Ophelia, due to his political responsibility, which finally works up to the death of all characters, including Polonius, Ophelia’s brother, who battles Hamlet in order to avenge the suicide of his sister.
The message that comes across is that if in the end only evil exists, nothing will survive. The dilemmas of man and how his actions affect his psychology are portrayed beautifully by the actors. Adding a lighter note to the grave story are the clowns (or gravediggers) who manage to get quite a few laughs out of the audience. Technology in the form of televisions, mobile phones and video cameras have been cleverly incorporated into the play to create visual and sound effects that are quite impactful. The message comes across with the use of scarce but intelligent props; credit for which goes to the outstanding performances. The Hamlet Quartet is heavy on emotion and the eccentricities of characters are exaggerated complimenting the overall mood.