SHAKESPEARE’S enduring popularity is often said to stem from his flair for capturing human passions; his characters’ struggles of the heart and conscience ringing as true now as they did then, century or country regardless.

Phizzical Theatre’s Bollywood take on the Bard at Taunton's Tacchi-Morris this week took this observation as its guide, and then some.

Samir Bhamra’s artistic direction of Cymbeline, one of the playwright’s lesser-known works, was clever and multi-layered.

Not only did he bring a 17th century tale of love, lust, conflict and confusion into 1990s’ India, he enlisted 1970s-style Bollywood as the art form with which to do it.

The end result was a quick-witted and beautifully dressed tale of crossed wires and confused identities from the strong Leicester cast.

The Shakespearean script was scattered with Hindi, infused with religious tension (inspired by India’s very real, devastating 1992 riots in which thousands died), and Bollywood’s criminal underworld, in thrall to one of India’s most wanted, Dawood Ibrahim.

Lovers in arms, Innojaan (Sophie Khan Levy) and banished husband Sherruddin (Adam Youssefbeygi) were the strongest performers in the traditional Shakespeare corner: earnest, emotive, convincing.

In the Bollywood corner, special mention goes to Nicholas Gauci, who as the insufferably vain Bollywood actor Cloten, meeting a messy end in shiny suit and oversized sunglasses, was comedy’s keeper.

Pearls included: “I am Cloten, I, am a Bollywood superstar!” and “A villain hath mocked me; I am faint”.

“How many plots are there to unravel?!” King Cymbeline cries. Go see how Phizzical ties them up when you get the chance.