A review on Pakistani Comic theatre play, ‘Aar Par’ (2019). This was the fifth play performed at NAPA’s 2nd Laughter Theatre Festival 2019.
- Costumes Design, Production Design, Written (Adapted) & Directed by Rauf Afridi
- Lighting by Masood-ur-Rehman
Aar Par is an adaptation of an English play, ‘See How They Run’, is an English comedy originally written in three acts by Philip King. Its title is a line from the nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice”. It is considered a farce for its tense comic situations and headlong humor, heavily playing on mistaken identity, doors, and vicars. There have been several films and TV adaptations on this play.
The writer/director has made some changes in the story and with their characters according to his need. Aar Par has some similarities including its end with Rauf’s play, ‘Da Bhagi Marg’.
The Karachi Laughter Fest 2019 brings together the various forms of comic performance in one hilarious festival. This year we present five plays directed by NAPA graduates along with a performance developed by Italian director, Marco Luly.
+ Full Cast:
1) Hammad Khan as Hammad
2) Abeera Pervaiz as Abeera
3) Ahmer Hussain as Faqeer Tundro
4) Fajr Sheikh as Ms. Tehzeeb
5) Tehreem Shafiq as Kinza
6) Hammad Siddiq as Mamoo
7) Muhammad Affan as Terrorist
8) Aqeel Ahmed as Leelo Gujar
9) Usman Javed as Policeman
It is a classic madcap comedy with a pile of misunderstandings, mistaken identities and pratfalls.
+ High Points
i – Surprisingly, Hammad Siddiq’s performance as Mamoo is very enjoyable and amusing. He is one of the main attractions why one should not miss in watching this play.
ii – Aqeel Ahmed as Leelo Gujar played one of the main supporting roles really well. Somehow, serious roles do not suit him whereas he able to impress everyone in playing comical roles.
ii – Ahmer Hussain is a brilliant actor, has already started making name for himself in the TV industry. In this play, his character as Faqeer Tundro, an army soldier, who is a close friend to Abeera and comes in handy in tackling threat. It is always a welcome to watch Ahmer on-stage. Other Honorable Mentions: Usman Javed, Fajr Sheikh and Tehreem Shafiq.
iii – The punch lines were very funny. The sex-based jokes, bought more attraction to the play.
iv – The production design was nicely constructed, helped with the actors’ blocking… the cupboard was built spacious enough too.
v – The costumes were carefully designed/chosen for characters… especially of Leelo Gujar.
vi – Once again, a wonderful direction by Rauf for this almost 2 hours long play. He is certainly making his mark to establish himself one of those directors who should be taken seriously by the audience and critics alike.
vii – The entire cast were able to give a very sound performance. A huge credit goes to the director.
viii – Having an almost 2 hours of play is long and tiring to watch. But still, having numerous witty jokes, good written script with nice performances made this play very pleasing.
+ Low Points
i – Ugh… Here we go again. We have a homosexual person as Policeman; And on top of that, a stereotype one. Now the question is, why? Why there is such a need for homosexual character for? But I do have an answer for that. The answer is… because it’s funny! Simple! You have a homosexual person in a play and here the audience would laugh anyway, regardless if he/she has comic lines or not. Amazing, isn’t it? Although, Usman did a very believable performance on-stage. But seriously, is this the best you could come up with?
ii – The jokes were more inflicted towards vulgarity though not directly imposed at. I have no issue with adult comedy. Sometimes, it works really well such as in this play. However, it’s advised to tone down the unnecessary gags that are strongly suggested towards sex.
Aar Par is a hilarious, fun-loving play. Rauf Afridi manages to make this a ‘Big Comedy Night’ filled with tremendous laughter!
Rate: 3.75 out of 5 stars