A review on Pakistani Mystery Comedy theatre play ‘Jasoosi Dunya’ (2018). The assistant director is Shahjahan Narejo while its stage manager is Fraz Chottani.

 

+ Crew

  1. Written (Adaptation) & Directed by Khalid Ahmed
  2. Lighting by Uzma Sabeen and Masood-ur-Rehman
  3. Costumes Design by Pervaiz Iqbal and Mahrukh
  4. Set Design by Jameel Afridi
  5. Makeup & Hair Styling by Farzana Naz

 

+ Note
Jasoosi Dunya is an adaptation of The Psychic (2010) by Sam Bobrick, an Edgar Award winning play in 2011. The play is a hilarious murder mystery which follows the chaotic life of Adam Webster: a down-on-his-luck writer who is making ends meet through psychic readings.

Ammad Rehman and Afsheen Hayat are behind the play’s music whereas Ashraf Bhatti is responsible for its sound effects. This review may contain SPOILERS!

+ Full Cast

  • Hassan Raza as Adam Webster
  • Saman Ansari as Salma Anwer
  • Nazar ul Hasan as Johnny Jaanbaaz
  • Bazelah Mustafa as Sabeena / Saibi
  • Farhan Alam as Anwer Sulemaan
  • Samhan Ghazi as Col. Zahid Kamal Afandi

 

+ Plot
It revolves around a mystery writer, Adam Webster who needs money to cover his bills. One day he is visited by a young beautiful lady, Salma Anwer to his home for psychic readings.

 

+ High Points
i – Exceptional writing and adaptation by Khalid sb. The script is very cleverly written as there were times where poor choice of words spoken by the stars or sometimes the dialogues were repeated. I remember saying to myself at first, ‘What happened to Khalid Sb’s writing? Is this the best he could come up with’? But then I saw what was actually happening in the play as there were few small hints given away in the first half. My confusion had turned into a very delightful surprise. Good stuff!

ii – Remarkable performance by the multi-talented star, Bazelah Mustafa as Sabeena / Saibi. She showed everyone that how ‘Easy’ it is to perform Live on-stage and bought new life to the play. Her perfect timing for comical punchlines, flirtish behavior and hilarious reactions had instantly made the audience fall in love with her character.

iii – NAPA’s veteran actor, Nazar ul Hasan as Johnny Jaanbaaz has once again acted very brilliantly. If you give him sober or a comic relief character to play, Nazar would make sure that the audience leave the hall with great pleasure. Other Honorable Mentions: Farhan Alam and Samhan Ghazi.

iv – Superb production design, high quality set was constructed to give a much closer mood for realism.

v – The two comic relief characters Johnny Jaanbaaz and Sabeena / Saibi were the most interesting and enjoyable to watch.

vi – Once again, good direction by respected Khalid Ahmed. His vast experience as an actor and writer, has always given an edge for the performers to be part of his directorial plays. Even for myself, it’s highly unlikely that I would ever miss his theatre work.

vii – Effective work behind its design and handling of lighting by Uzma and Masood.

viii – In costume designing, the characters fitted well with the wardrobe given to them.

ix – Saman Ansari as Salma looked very elegant and glamorous; all thanks to makeup & hair styling.  

 

+ Low Points
i – Hassan Raza as Adam Webster performance was … average at best in front of his fellow stars and weak as the lead star. Although, I am pleased that NAPA is giving chance to other cast members as well to perform in lead roles. Yet still, we cannot ignore the fact that the lead star should have at least given ONE of the strongest performances, If not THE strongest performance than the rest of the cast.

ii – It’s highly unlikely that most people had predicted the twist before it was suggested by one of the characters. Though, I saw it long before it reached the interval. There are many reasons attached to it. First of all, I, myself have already watched many, many suspense, thriller films and TV series with bizarre twists and endings. Secondly, there were several hints given during the play (which is a good move btw). For example, the exact same murder location where the crime had taken place, the clothes of other characters remained the same and a rich beautiful lady having devoted love for him. But the biggest hint of them all was when Adam had everything written down in this book before he forgets. His desperation to write it quickly and being delighted to come up with such great ideas was the moment when the play gave away their twist.

iii – I felt that the play was longer than required and its time length should be reduced by 15 – 20 minutes.

iv – Speaking of costume designing as above, there was however only one small issue, ‘Anwer’s shoes’. They were totally mismatched with the color of suit he was wearing. My eyes (unintentionally) kept looking at his shoes than to enjoy his performance.

 

+ Overall
Khalid Ahmed’s adaptation as Jasoosi Dunya is yet another addition as souvenir in the world of theatre.

 

Rate: 4.0 out of 5