Madbeth: A Comic Spree plays for one show

The tragedy inspired an interactive show that is mostly played for laughs

Shakespeare's Macbeth generally qualifies as a tragedy, but that isn't everyone's take on the tale. Madbeth: A Comic Spree plays for one show only on July 6 at Divadlo Na Prádle. The event is hosted by Prague Shakespeare Company.

The show is billed presented with the tagline: “One man, One throne, One crown, One hilariously tragic experience.”

The show, created by Rupesh Tillu, is a combination of slapstick, acrobatics, mime, songs and improvisations. It has been called a roller coaster ride and a profound allegory that dissolves the space between observer and performer. The interactive physical comedy is loosely inspired by Shakespeare's classic tale of the Scottish lord who takes advice from three witches. 

Madbeth — with a 'd' instead of a 'c' — has been played for audiences in Europe, the Middle East, the US and India.

The play is really just loosely inspired by Shakespeare. It features Beth and his imaginary friend, Banquo.

Tillu explained the basic plot for The Hindi, a newspaper in India: “Beth has schizophrenia. His girlfriend and dog are murdered. A psychotherapist advises him to enact a murderer’s tale. So Beth puts out Macbeth for the first time in front of an audience.” The paper called the play “madly entertaining.”

The play gets different responses in different places, Tillu said.

He wants the play to push people out of their comfort zones. It is interactive because so much media these days, from TV to YouTube, does not give people a chance to interact.

Tillu, an actor, director and independent filmmaker, was born in Mumbai, India. He holds MFA in physical comedy from the National School of Dramatic Arts, Sweden. He has received awards such as Outstanding Artist/Act at the Stockholm Fringe Festival 2012 and A Special Jury Award for Best of Prague Fringe Festival in 2013 for the show Ragulabuggla - A Tale About an Environmental Refugee.

Tillu has appeared in several films. Recently he played the character of Yorick in Claire McCarthy's film Ophelia, where he got an opportunity to do scenes with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. The telling of Hamlet from the female point of view was filmed in the Czech Republic. It has played at festivals but has not yet had a wide release.

He played the title role of Boicheck in a Hindi feature film adaptation of Georg Buchner's Woyzeck, a working-class tragedy about the dehumanization of war. He will soon appear in Shriram Raghvan’s film Andhadhun, scheduled for August 2018. He has also played the character of Ajay in the 2013 Indian feature film Ship of Theseus.

Tillu has done expeditions with Clowns without Borders to Moldova, Palestine, Israel, India, Jordan, Nepal, Bhutan and Egypt, and is a part of the clown trio Drömställe. 

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