A review on Pakistani Comedy theatre play, ‘Sinbad’ (2017). The music is originally composed by Arshad Mahmud while the producer of this play, Rauf Afridi is a multi-talented person who is also a terrific actor, writer and director.
- Written, Lighting & Directed by Uzma Sabeen
- Sound Mixing by Ashraf Bhatti
- Set Design by Javed Yousuf
- Costumes & Getup by Pervaiz Iqbal
- Produced by Rauf Afridi
There have been many works based on the fictional character, ‘Sinbad’. In short, he is a sailor and the hero of a story-cycle of Middle Eastern origin; he is described as living in Baghdad, during the Abbasid Caliphate. During his voyages throughout the seas east of Africa and south of Asia, he has fantastic adventures going to magical places, meeting monsters, and encountering supernatural phenomena.
Other characters such as ‘Umro Ayaar’, is taken from “The Enchantment of Senses” series by Mohammad Jah in Tilism E Hoshruba; as a Benarasi Thug. In Urdu, the word ‘Ayaar’ means cunning. His signature element was a ‘Zambeel’, a basket which carries anything. He has pulled out armies from it. Umro is one of the most famous storybook characters along with Rustam and Sohrab, Aladdin, Sindbad, Chacha Chakkan and many more. The character ‘Al Capone’ is the only one who is based on real life person aka Alphonse Gabriel Capone (17 Jan 1899 – 25 Jan 1947) also known by the nickname ‘Scarface’, was an American mobster, crime boss and businessman who attained fame during the Prohibition era as the co-founder and boss of the Chicago Outfit. His seven-year reign as crime boss ended when he was 33 years old. In last, the character ‘Angloo’ is a word actually which refers to people of mixed races.
The writer didn’t just use some of the characters names randomly but from famous works / real life as mentioned above.
+ Full Cast:
- Kashif Hussain as Sindbad
- Tehreem Shafiq as Shaheen
- Ahmer Hussain as Al Capone
- Shabana Hassan as Malika
- Hammad Khan as Angloo / Umro Ayaar
- Fraz Chhotani as Bangloo
- Nadir Hussain as Badshah
- Essa Khan as Mustafa
- Raheel Siddique as Gidola aka Giant Bird (Cameo)
To win Shaheen’s hand in marriage, Sinbad needs to travel thousand miles of sea to get to an island where he could bring back ‘Unique’ treasure to her father’s kingdom.
+ High Points
i – Remarkable performance by Fraz Chhotani as Bangloo. The last performance I watched of his was of Khaled Ahmed Sb’s play ‘Sher Khan Ka Makan’ in which he played a flirt old man character. Though Fraz has directed a couple of plays too but his performances of comic characters are really well put and here too made his firm stand in playing a memorable jinn role as ‘Bangloo’.
ii – Ahmer Hussain as Al Capone performed nicely and it’s always fun to watch his comic performances.
iii – Lighting is been handled wonderfully.
iv – The costumes & getup were taken care well.
v – Some of the punch lines were add up some good humor.
vi – Songs, dances and Live interactions with the children (audience) boasts up the interest to watch kids’ play.
+ Low Points
i – Most of the jokes were flat and lacked good, keen story line. Though the target audience for such plays is children, however they too were finding hard time in laughing out.
ii – Since the character ‘Sinbad / Sindbad’ is a very popular among children & adults alike where many written works, comics, films, cartoons and theatre plays have been conducted based on him therefore it should have been much easier for the writer to make an interesting story line up for the play than to make a play from the scratch.
iii – Lack of good performances indicated as though the cast themselves were not taking their play seriously as to say it’s a ‘Children’s Play’.
iv – ‘Type Cast’ roles performed by Nadir Hussain, Hammad Khan & Tehrim Shafiq. Their performances were okay but did not caught audience attention towards them.
v – The song may have been originally composed by Arshad Mahmud but it was not exciting nor matched with the theme of Sinbad’s era. I am aware that there were several mentions of modern era objects in the play but try to stick with the theme of Sinbad’s original era if the music is to be originally composed. Unless the play is entirely based on modern time period including costumes and set design.
vi – I believe that the set design could have improved a lot … if it is shown for commercial basis.
vii – The most stimulating character should have been the lead character, Sinbad. It is necessary for the ‘Kids Play’, as it is based on him & his adventurous tasks. His scenes, performance should have been the most fascinating to watch but unfortunately it was not so.
viii – Due to product placements, in-house marketing materials, the sponsors made sure that the audience remember the name ‘Ballay, Ballay’ instead of ‘Sinbad’ when they exit the theatre house.
Although Sinbad is a universally loved character, but its play suffers from mediocre humor and too simple story line for the audience to find difficult time to enjoy.
Rate: 2.25 out of 5 Stars