A scene from Hamlet - the Clown Prince which will be staged at the Shakespeare Comedy Theatre Festival Image Credit: Supplied

ABU DHABI: Vinay Pathak, Kalki Koechlin and Ranvir Shorey are among the fine crop of Bollywood actors and theatre personalities headed to the UAE to perform at the Shakespeare Comedy Theatre Festival (SCTF) at the Abu Dhabi Theatre on March 9 and 10 and at the Shaikh Rashid Auditorium in Dubai on April 20 and 21.

The brainchild of actor, writer and director Rajat Kapoor and produced by Hardik Shah, SCTF will feature four shows on two days in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. “The shows are interpretations and adaptations of the tragic plays of Shakespeare. They help make sense of the messages carried in the plays, but with a quirky, humourous twist,” festival head Zahra Rahman told XPRESS.

SCTF, founded in 2014, derives from Kapoor’s 1992 play C for Clown. The play set off a journey of discovering different types of clowns and a love of Shakespeare. Last year, SCTF successfully completed The Great Indian Tour with 43 sold-out shows in 11 cities in India.

“This year, living up to its name of #TheatreOnTour, the clowns are coming to the UAE,” said Rahman. The shows feature a clown company that sets out to enact Shakespeare’s plays in a tragicomedy journey of human emotion. The award-winning plays also star Cyrus Sahukar, Neil Bhoopalam, Tillotama Shome, Jim Sarbh and Namit Das.

Rahman said the four 100 minute shows will be held at 4pm and 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday.Tickets, available on PlatinumList, range from Dh130 to Dh700. As Pathak steps into the shoes of Soso the clown, he draws from his vast experience in theatre, his tryst with Shakespeare beginning at just 24. His captivating monologue in Nothing like Lear delves into the life of an old clown left with nothing. Award-winning Koechlin who is also a play director can be seen on stage in Hamlet – The Clown Prince.