A review on Pakistani Rom-Com theatre plays, Raaz-o-Niaz and Open Couple (2019). This double feature plays were performed at NAPA International Theatre Festival 2019.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Costume Designing & Directed by Syed Meesam Naqvi
  • Written (Adapted) by Kiran Siddiqui
  • Music by Nigel Bobby
  • Lighting & Production Design by Nisa Karamatullah
  • Produced by Method Productions

 

 

 

+ Note

Raaz-o-Niaz is an adapted play by Fared Uddin Ahmed. The original text was written by Raafi Peerzada. The other play, Open Couple is an adapted Italian play, originally written by Dario Fo in 1983.

Syed Meesam Naqvi graduated from NAPA with a diploma in Theatre Arts and is currently a faculty member at NAPA teaching acting. Since his graduation he has acted, directed many successful plays including Dastan ki Eik Sham, Jungle Mein Mangal Bazar, Rehearsal and Dastangoi. Most notable ones are including Kamla, Kuttay, Mujrim Ya Mulzim, Apartment 746 and Raagni.

 

 

+ Full Cast

  1. Nazar-ul-Hasan as Niaz
  2. Erum Bashir as Raaz
  3. Usman Javed as Dost
  4. Mohsin Ali Shah as Husband
  5. Kiran Siddiqui as Wife

 

 

 

 

+ Plot (Raaz-o-Niaz)
It explores the poetic beauty of two complete strangers finding solace in each other arms and discovering themselves.

 

 

xxxxxxxxx

 

 

+ Plot (Open Couple)

In this mockery of marriage sexual tensions, husband convinces his suicidal wife of keeping an ‘Open Marriage’ relationship. But soon, the tables are turned when she confesses to fall in love with another man.

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Meesam’s direction has raised eye brows of many senior artists and directors. He is certainly making his way to the top to the high ranks of directors with one after another high graded directorial plays.

ii – An ideal adaptation by Kiran Siddiqui for the Open Couple. The changes that were made worked well with this play’s direction.

iii – I love how the treatment of both plays took place. Its credit goes to both, the writer and director for doing a good job.

iv – Great performance given by Nazar ul Hasan as Niaz. Whenever he is in lead role, a remarkable performance from him no less is expected by the audience.

v – Where was Mohsin Ali all this time? His level of performance shows us a very confident, bold actor who waited for his moment to arrive as to say ‘Apun ka time aa gaya‘! It’s a good decision to bring out him in the open for everyone to see and be entertained by his splendid performance. Other Honorable Mentions: Rest of the cast.

vi – With the brightly lit play, the production design including its props was ideal to conduct both of the plays.

vii – The humor was mostly pleasant and at times very hilarious. The mass audience roared with laughter.

viii – The costumes were appropriate according to the characters and the moment they played their roles in.

 

 

 

+ Low Points
I – Since I have already read the original play of ‘Open Couple’, therefore I know how much sex content there is before its adaptation. However, the audience was not mentally prepared for this. Unlike the first play, the second one had too much open and vulgar comments, actions which made some people even walk out the auditorium. It is suggested to warn the audience before the play takes place.

 

 

 

+ Overall

What makes Raaz-o-Niaz & Open Couple stand out is its extreme commitment to the material, its relentlessly sex-positive approach, and its sneaky talent to be both naughty and savory.

 

 

 

Rate: 4.50 out of 5 stars