Shakespeare Wallah is a 1965 Merchant Ivory Productions film. The story and screenplay are by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, about a travelling family theatre troupe of English actors in India, who perform Shakespeare plays in towns across India, amidst a dwindling demand for their work and the rise of Bollywood. Madhur Jaffrey won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the 15th Berlin International Film Festival for her performance. The music was composed by Satyajit Ray.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Ivory|
|Produced by||Ismail Merchant|
|Written by||Ruth Prawer Jhabvala|
|Starring||Shashi Kapoor |
|Music by||Satyajit Ray|
|Edited by||Amit Bose|
Loosely based on the real-life actor-manager Geoffrey Kendal's family and his travelling "Shakespeareana Company", which earned him the Indian sobriquet "Shakespearewallah", the film follows the story of nomadic British actors as they perform Shakespeare plays in towns in post-colonial India. In this story, Tony Buckingham (Geoffrey Kendal) and his wife Carla (Laura Liddell) oversee the troupe. Their daughter, Lizzie Buckingham (Felicity Kendal), falls in love with Sanju (Shashi Kapoor), who is also romancing Manjula (Madhur Jaffrey), a Bollywood film star.
- Shashi Kapoor as Sanju
- Felicity Kendal as Lizzie Buckingham
- Geoffrey Kendal as Tony Buckingham
- Laura Liddell as Carla Buckingham
- Madhur Jaffrey as Manjula
- Utpal Dutt as Maharaja
- Praveen Paul as Didi
- Prayag Raj as Sharmaji (as Prayag Raaj)
- Pinchoo Kapoor as Guptaji
- Jim D. Tytler as Bobby (as Jim Tytler)
- Hamid Sayani as Headmaster's Brother
- Marcus Murch as Dandy in 'The Critic'
- Partap Sharma as Aslam
- Jennifer Kendal as Mrs Bowen (uncredited)
- Ismail Merchant as Theater Owner (uncredited)
After the success of the first film, The Householder (1963), the team of Ivory and Merchant reunited with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and actor Shashi Kapoor for this film. Due to budget constraints, the film was shot in black and white, and the Kendal family play their own fictionalized counterparts, "the Buckinghams".
- "Berlinale 1965: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- Kuldip Singh (15 June 1998). "Obituary: Geoffrey Kendal". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "Shakespeare Wallah: James Ivory". TIFF. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- Keller, p. 42
- James R. Keller; Aia, Leslie Stratyner (2004). "Shakespeare Transposed: British Theatre on Post-colonial screen". Almost Shakespeare: Reinventing His Works for Cinema and Television. McFarland. ISBN 078648103X.