A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Baari (2019). This play was performed at NAPA International Theatre Festival 2019. The play was directed on the instructions of late Madeeha Gauhar.
- Written by Shahid Nadeem
- Lighting & Production Design by Nadeem Mir
- Music & Sound Mixing by Bilal Mughal
- Produced by Ajoka Theatre
Baari is written in 1986 and first performed on International Women’s Day in 1987. Shahid Nadeem wrote the play on Madeeha’s request, when he was in exile in London after being imprisoned by the military government of General Zia-ul-Haq. The play was produced by Ajoka and was directed by the late Madeeha Gauhar.
Ajoka Theatre Group dedicated this play to Madeeha Gauhar, who had previously directed this play several times.
This festival brings together performers from a diverse group of countries and as before NAPA have a number of collaborations between international and local artists.
+ Full Cast
- Madiha Rashid/ Kanwal Khan as Zahida
- Nayab Faiza as Jamila
- Samina Butt as Jannat
- Eva Majid as Mariam
- Naseem Abbas as Warder
Zahida is sentenced to the central jail for protesting against the military regime’s ban. There she meets three female prisoners in her cell who are imprisoned for different reasons.
+ High Points
i – The only performance exciting to see was of Nayab Faiza as Jamila, the strong headed woman responsible for murdering her husband. This was a challenging role to play and was achieved it splendidly.
ii – The inclusion of the playback singer and music was a very good idea, helped in keeping the interest level in the play.
+ Low Points
i – The director’s absence was felt throughout the play. Surprising it maybe, but NAPA’s version in this festival did a better job.
ii – Generally, everyone’s performances were just average; more was expected.
iii – The absence of production set design did make a difference on the big stage.
iv – It’s funny to see an old woman, Jannat, walking and talking like a younger woman. Samina kept coming out of her character.
v – There were minor issue related to the lighting. See, when a character is speaking and walking simultaneously then the spot light should move with it.
Baari tries so hard to shock the audience with their individual stories that it completely forgets to connect it to emotionally and quickly devolve from women empowerment to tragic drama.
Rate: 1.50 out of 5 stars