Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Ishq Aatish’ (2018)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama theatre play, ‘Ishq Aatish’ (2018).


+ Crew

  • Costumes Design, Written & Directed by Damyanti Gosai
  • Lighting by Masood Rehman
  • Direction & Production Design by Danish Irshad Abro and Jahanzaib Qureshi


+ Note
Ishq Aatish is a story of two lovers who choose to burn in spite of societal resistances which is still considered a taboo to discuss in many parts of the world.

Similar stories, films been made where this play might have been inspired from. Still, it was a good decision taken by Damyanti. Plus, I’m pleased to see new faces in the cast line-up as well.


+ Full Cast

  1. Rao M Shahwaiz as Shaman, Assistant #1
  2. Rehan Nazim as Prince of Ferozistan
  3. Imran Fatani as King
  4. Aamir Naqvi as Adviser
  5. Tehreem Shafiq as Princess of Unabistan
  6. Arsal Khan as Assistant #2 and Villager #1
  7. Kiran Siddiqui as Maid
  8. Zulfiqar Ali Khan as Haroon Yarzouf (Drunker) and Assassin
  9. Ansaar Mahar as Servant and Guard #1
  10. Jahan Zaib Navi as Guard #2 and Villager #2


 + Plot
Prince of Ferozistan is to be wed off to Princess of Unabistan on the orders of the King and continue to have royal legacy through their traditional customs from generations to generations. But what King doesn’t know is that his son has already given his heart to someone else.


+ High Points
i – Kiran Siddiqui as Maid acted very hilarious, very natural… loved how she treated her character. Due to her brilliant performance, she made her scenes most interesting to watch.

ii – A new comer, Rao M Shahwaiz as Shaman plays a very realistic character, as close companion to the prince. He was the second most interesting character to watch. Rao has made sure that the audience would remember him for his memorable performance. Other Honorable Mentions: Aamir Naqvi and Rehan Nazim.

iii – The costume designing is praise worthy and suitable for the characters. And then, I couldn’t help and notice the color of costume given to the characters of Shaman and Assistant #2, played by Rao Shahwaiz and Arsal Khan. The pink color was chosen carefully as this is the color where their community & rights activists present in their movement. Good move.


+ Low Points
i – Oh dear, what happened with Imran Fatani’s performance? He played as one of the major characters of this play. There were a number of flaws to talk about. Such as, many times he was seen being stuck to what his line was? He didn’t look calm, felt nervous while dialogue-delivery. There were moments when his co-star was giving his line and he reacted too quickly. But he couldn’t give his line as his fellow star had to complete his sentence first. That look of waiting, was clearly shown on his face. His gestures as royal highness was sometimes over acting, didn’t gave natural reaction as other stars were doing with their performances. Sometimes, Imran’s accent was of Mugal-e-Azam’s time period and sometimes of current times. The director should conduct more rehearsals with Imran, see where he is making mistakes, pin point him and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

ii – I cannot say that I enjoyed the play, as it was slow and mind-numbing to be precise. The writer/director needs to come up with much more interesting sub plots and intriguing punch lines. This would keep the audience more engaged with the play without glancing towards their wrist watch.

iii – Its understandable there might be ‘Budget Issues’. But it would help in boosting the audience’s interest by coming up much better set design and inclusion with relevant props of the time period, the play is based on.

iv – Since there was no / hardly any sub plots, hence the play had lackluster of strong supporting characters. One hour and twenty minutes is more than enough for this play with such limited interesting characters. Its betterment for the play if it is re-written with inclusion of these mentioned missing elements.

v – It’s unfortunate that a technical error occurred during the play, regarding lighting. Being pitch darkness, the play came to a standstill for few seconds. Besides this, there were times where the main light should have been focused on certain characters and not on the background characters. Instead the audience witnessed the entire stage to be brightly lit.

vi – The time length should be decreased, from 80 minutes to 65 – 70 minutes maximum. Since the play was being held downstairs, at basement therefore its time length makes it even harder for the audience to watch with concentration.


+ Overall
A different, daring take as Ishq Aatish, which is interesting in terms of performances but still lacks majorly in its story depths, vital supporting characters and its secondary details.


Rate: 2.0 out of 5


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