A review on Pakistani Horror Black Comedy theatre play, ‘Aaj Ki Taza Khabr Qabar’ [Today’s Latest News Grave] (2016). Its Production House is Green Veins.
- Directed by Younas Khan
- Written by Nasir Saleem
- Production Head by Nomi Memon
- Art Direction by Salman Siddiqui
- Produced by Syed Maqsood Sabir
Aaj Ki Taza Khabr Qabar has a couple of songs with dance sequences. This play used a number of times of interactions with the audience by breaking the fourth wall.
The director, Younas Khan is also one of the lead stars of this play. He is a trained actor, writer and director from Arts Council Theatre & Media Academy Karachi-Pakistan. Younas has acted and directed in various music videos and short films. His first commercial success was also his directorial debut Idiots in Love. Other than that, his other works include Jaan ke Laley, Misplaced, Baba Pinky, Inquilaab, Cheekh, Kafeer, Selfie Murder which have won a number of competitions. The Production Manager is Mohammad Aamir Ali while its Asst. Director is Ashir Ahmed Khan.
+ Full Cast
- Younas Khan as Faisal
- Asad Gojar as Namurad
- Syed Maqsood Sabir as Kashif
- Meer Aslam Lashari as Goonga
- Kekashan Anjum as Ayesha
- Umesh Ladhani Kumar as Sardaar
- Afsheen Hayat as Hina
- Syed Faraz Hussain as Siddiqui
- Qurat-Ul-Ain Tahir as Laila
- Abdul Rehman aka Addy Khan as Pasha
- Aurangzaib Nadeem as Billi
- Muhammad Ibrahim Shah as Fika
- Sameer Hashmi as Fakhir
- Junaid Butt as Terrorist
- M. Hassam as Chaila
- Ahsan Khan as Sacrificial Symbol
- Hamza Zain-Ul-Abdin as Baap / Paper Boy #1
- Arshmaan Pasta as Gorkan / Paper Boy #2
It is about four friends (drug addicts) Kashif, Faisal, Billy and Goonga who are being chased by police. They quickly seek haven at a graveyard where to their horror, the dead come to life. As the story proceeds, they get involved in the current issues of terrorism and politics which draws them to an edge where they have to make a choice either choose redemption or the path of damnation for eternity.
+ High Points
i – Meer Aslam Lashari as Goonga and Younas Khan as Faisal were breath taking to watch. Their strong performances not only pulled the audience closer towards themselves but to mark the label of great success on the play itself. Although there are several other reasons why this play was a hit but one cannot ignore to mention these two bright actors’ names for their high confidence and dazzling performance. Their presence gave a significance importance even on those scenes where multiple stars were already present and performing making the stage jam packed.
ii – The direction was carefully constructed in every scene. Not only Younas Khan is a great actor but also a very skillful director as well! By having a valuable script, he was able to direct the play as black comedy in a very satisfactory manner.
iii – To its dark humor, it was amusing to watch where most of the audience sidelined the basic serious issues that the play was sugar coating at with its comical dialogues and laughable punch lines.
iv – The script is very interestingly written and lively that it gave way for the performers and for the director to take a strong stand in the hearts of the audience as a memorable comic play.
v – The set design was good and effective in able to match with the script’s scenarios.
vi – Afsheen Hayat performance especially in musical sequences highlighted her character Hina as a very interesting love interest, supporting character. Other Honorable Mentions: Umesh Ladhani, Syed Faraz Hussain and Abdul Rehman (Addy Khan) for their performances.
vii – It was a warm welcome to meet an entire new cast for theatrical performance other than belonging to NAPA or Arts Council.
viii – The performers interaction with the audience especially by Meer Aslam Lashari and Younas Khan were the most entertaining and funny ones to experience with.
ix – I am pleased how this play turned out to be and utilized this opportunity to watch the first performance by the team of Green Veins. The audience had a marvelous time by watching this play. Good Job!
+ Low Points
i – Many of the humorous scenes were enjoyable and unforgettable to watch. But these certain scenes did not link with main or the sub plot of the play. They were mostly filling in the gaps for the storytelling.
ii – Some of the characters had little or any role to perform in this play. The importance of their existence and the level of interest of these characters should be improvised in order to make them useful; such as Laila, Billi, Fakhir and Chaila.
iii – The love interest / flirting by Terrorist with Laila was totally unnecessary and irrelevant with the main plot. Though it lasted only for a moment or so…
iv – Although I was sitting in the third row of the auditorium but hardly could hear the voice by Junaid Butt as Terrorist. In theatrical performance, one must be loud enough for the audience to hear them properly. Most of his dialogues came out like a mumble.
The team’s hard work and good humor has certainly made Aaj Ki Taza Khabr Qabar to be a very memorable play.
Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars