A review on Pakistani Comic theatre play, ‘An Evening of Commedia Dell Arte’ (2019). This was the third play performed at NAPA’s 2nd Laughter Theatre Festival 2019.
- Directed by Marco Luly
- Lighting by Masood-ur-Rehman
- Sound Designed by Ashraf Bhatti
- Assistant Directed by Ubaid Iqbal
An Evening with Commedia Dell Arte is a devised schemes and skits based on the classic Italian comic performance style. There are a number short stories performed in this play where a collection of scenes are taken from traditional stories, some are written by the director himself while some are devised with the actors.
Commedia dell’Arte is an improvised kind of popular comedy that was performed in Italian theatres in the 16th – 18th centuries.
+ Full Cast:
- Marco Luly
- Vaajdan Shah as Jester
- Sabiha Zia
- Hammad Khan
- Danish Irshad
- Umer Chaudry
- Haris Khan
- Aqeel Ahmed
- Ibad Alam Sher
- Farooq Haider
- Umair Rafiq as Lover #1
- Bani Mirza as Lover #2
- Umer Iqbal
- Adil Hasan
- Taha Khan as Professor
In the shape of three types of comedies, Farce comedy, comedy and tragic comedy… several stories are played out by a long list of performers in many different roles.
+ High Points
i – A solid performance given by Bani Mirza. I have come to realize now that she can and should be given more difficult roles to play for all of us to be witness of the level of her acting craft. In other words, she is the new rising star.
ii – Umair Rafiq’s roles, as well as his performance was compelling to watch. You can call him lucky, for the roles he was given to perform… but Umair has certainly made his mark to remember him with good memory regarding this play. He seems to do farce comedy really well on-stage. Other Honorable Mentions: Farooq Haider and Marco Luly.
iii – There were some stories that were appealing, had light comedy and were pleasant to watch.
iv – The stage management was very effectively handled.
v – We were able to see many new faces as performers. That’s good.
+ Low Points
i – Although, Vaajdan is a great and confident actor but his role as Jester was snooze taking — unfortunately, very dull to watch. There was only handful of his jokes which made the audience realize that he is still performing and should be appreciated.
ii – Many good performers’ acting skills were wasted because of many short stories that were conducted with numerous actors, who had to share the stage-time.
Sometimes very funny, but An Evening with Commedia Dell Arte eventually wears off with its lack of meaty roles and web of clichéd stories.
Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars