A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama theatre play, Leela Chanesar (2019). This play was performed at NAPA International Theatre Festival 2019.

 

 

+ Crew

  • Lighting, Costume Designing, Production Designing, Written (Adapted) & Directed by Shahnawaz Bhatti
  • Co-Lighting, Co-Costume Designing & Associate Directed by Shahjahan Narejo
  • Produced by Aashkara Arts Production and Simpa Jamshoro

 

 
+ Note

Leela Chanesar is a Sindhi play, which is adapted from the traditional story (Leela) that dates back to the time of Jam Chanesar. He was one of the Soomra rulers in 14th century at Thatta, Sindh; Pakistan. It is often retold in Sindhi and Persian languages.

The story also appears in Shah Jo Risalo and forms part of seven popular tragic romances from Sindh, Pakistan. The other six tales are Umar Marvi, Sassui Punnhun, Sohni Mehar, Noori Jam Tamachi, Sorath Rai Diyach and Momal Rano commonly known as ‘The Seven Queens of Sindh’, or ‘The Seven Heroines of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’.

 

 

 

+ Musicians

  • Anu Solangi as Vocalist
  • Ustad Akhtar Hussain as Sarangi Mairaj Dholk

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Aqsa Ahad as Leela
  2. Fatima Rind as Kounro
  3. Sheeraz Khan as Chanesar
  4. Shifa Agha as Jimny
  5. Pushmina as Raqasa
  6. Aisha Mehak as Murki
  7. Shahbaz Baloch as Khanghar
  8. Anu Solangi as Jakhro
  9. Ahsan Ali as Azaad
  10. Shahjahan Narejo as Farishta / Angel
  11. Erum Bashir as Nanchnay Wali / Dancer

 

 

 

+ Plot

Leela a spoiled but pleasure loving wife of Chanesar, is so enticed by another woman’s necklace that she allows the woman to spend one night with her husband. Furious that he had been ‘Sold’, Chanesar divorces his wife. Leela has to undergo a long process of purification until she is once more acceptable to her husband.

 

 

+ High Points
i – This play has made his mark by bringing in a strong playback singer. The audience were pulled closer by the singer’s stunning voice to the play’s tragic theme of guilt and redemption.

ii – The costumes were appropriate and suitable on the characters.

iii – The lighting was taken care of carefully. Good job!

iv – Good work behind the makeup & hair styling. The characters were depicted as per script’s demand.

v – Beautiful music was composed for this play. The effect on the audience mood was drastically improved as the story moves forward.

vi – The writer was able to treat this play with a different scenario. Instead of watching the current state, the audience was taken back to the flashback… from where it all started.

 

 

+ Low Points
i – The performances were good but they could have been great.

ii – Since the production design consisted of three different locations simultaneously, thus the space for blocking was very limited.

iii – The set design was generally simple. It has more room for improvement which is direly needed.

 

 
+ Overall

Leela Chanesar succeeds in both, dramatic effect and human touch.

 
Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars