A review on Pakistani Comedy Drama theatre play, ‘Rehearsal’ (2018). Its Production is Stage Nomad Production while its Asst. Producer & Asst. Director is Rao Nauman Rehman.
- Written (Adapted) & Directed by Syed Meesam Naqvi
- Costumes Design by Rao Nauman and Pirah
- Set Design by Javed Bhai
- Lighting by Ubaid Iqbal
- Produced by Irfan Anwer
Rehearsal is a Marathi play as Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe (aka Silence! The Court Is in Session) which was originally written in 1963 by an Indian Playwright, Vijay Tendulkar (deceased). He was also a movie and television writer, literary essayist, political journalist, and social commentator primarily in Marāthi. He is best known for other plays are Ghāshirām Kotwāl (1972), and Sakhārām Binder (1972). Late Vijay Tendulkar was awarded for it in 1970 whereas many stage and on-screen projects have adapted this play in later decades.
Rehearsal is a play where personality conflict brings out the tension among the group of people who they deemed as the weakest.
This play’s star power included two well-known names of IBA theatre play team, Hammad Ather Mehmood and Yogeshwar Karera. Most of the performers are from IBA theatre team while Muhammad Muneeb Baig and Farhan Malik are from NAPA. Previously the character of Selun Mathew was played by Faizan Fazal.
Rehearsal is the fourth stage play produced by Stage Nomad Productions and my third one to attend their play. This Production House is responsible for such plays as Court Martial (2016) and Mulzim Ya Mujrm (2017).
+ Full Cast:
- Faiza Mahmood as Saba
- Yogeshwar Karera as Samant
- Hammad Ather Mehmood as Nawab Sahab
- Mushk Kaleem as Begum Shagufta Nawab
- Syed Shah Hassan as Shah Kazmi
- Muhammad Muneeb Baig as Selun Mathew
- Moiz Khan as Kavish
- Farhan Malik as Bablu
A group of teachers plan to stage a play in a village. A local person is asked to replace a cast-member when he does not show up. A heavily improvised ‘Rehearsal’ is arranged where a mock trial is staged so that the learners could understand the court procedures. But soon the pretend-play turns into an accusatory game against Miss Saba (another cast member) where her real-life decision making trial begins.
+ High Points
i – The acting by the entire cast is well established, nicely executed. Everyone did swell job in playing out their characters.
ii – The adaptation of the source material, made this play into an effective one. The audience watched it with keen interest.
iii – Meesam Naqvi did good work in its direction, how the play was able to get proper, effective shape on-stage.
iv – The level of humor was light and not vulgar, which was perfect for a play like ‘Rehearsal’.
v – Solid performance pulled by Faiza Mahmood as Saba. Long before when she has to give 5-pages monologue on-stage, her performance can be safely say to be best from the rest of the cast members. Other Honorable Mentions: Yogeshwar Karera, Hammad Ather Mehmood and Syed Shah Hassan.
vi – The lighting was attractively handled to set moods and situation of the play.
+ Low Points
i – Regardless of what the original playwright says, one’s monologue can be reduced or be made less dramatic by eliminating or lessen the use of shouting, screaming. Instead, be replaced by the brief lines to share her past with the audience. Though it’s ultimately the writer’s choice, of how he wants to display it in the end. However the key to understand the pain of the character is not through the help of lengthy monologue but by making a valid point with well-chosen words.
ii – I am well aware and have understood of the character’s backgrounds completely in Rehearsal but the use of gay element or mimicry is left for those, who have underprivileged writing skills for a comic play. It is better to avoid it.
iii – The set design for an old, abandoned house could have been improved; more suitable props could have been added.
iv – I have never seen a play where the use of toilet is so much engaged by different characters without given a proper explanation.
Rehearsal is surprisingly a well-written and performed play by Stage Nomad Production since their very first play, Court Martial.
Rate: 3.50 out of 5