Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Pagla Ghoda (2019)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Pagla Ghoda aka Mad Horse (2019). This play was performed at NAPA International Theatre Festival 2019.



+ Crew

  • Costume Designing, Production Designing, Written (Adapted) & Directed by Naz
  • Written (Original) by Badal Sarkar
  • Lighting by Masood-ur-Rehman
  • Sound Design by Bhatti & Anil Tahir Azaad
  • Produced by Zarq Productions




+ Note

Pagla Ghoda is an adaptation of a Bengali play, written in 1967. It is about hidden truth, true love and dark secrets of four losers who nothing to do then to get drunk and play cards. They have suppressed their tragic memories deep down into their very souls and drink to forget the pain. The underlying theme of Pagla Ghoda is patriarchy in the Indian society and its influences on both men and women.

In this play, every character has a question in every dialogue.




+ Full Cast

  1. Saad Zameer Fareedi as Kartik
  2. Marya Saad as Larki / Milli / Maalti / Lakshmi
  3. Syed Arsalan as Shashi
  4. Muneeb Baig as Himadray
  5. Mujtaba Zaidi as Saatu





+ Plot

A group of four men get drunk while playing cards near a burning pyre in a crematorium. After cremating an unknown woman, they start philosophizing about life in the shadow of death. But what they are actually doing is slowly discussing their lost love.




+ High Points

i –Tara, tara maa…’ a dialogue that is often spoken by the character, Kartik played by Saad Fareedi. Besides his solid performance, the character repeats this dialogue on & on, with an excuse to comfort himself. But personally, what I believe (which was indirectly applied) that the reason behind this would be bringing himself back to the reality from the tragic, guilt ridden past that can never be changed.

The adaptation by the writer of this hit, Bengali play would be cherished with fond memories by the everyone who watched it. If it weren’t for a quality adapted play, even the solid performances by the cast may had not looked that believable or interesting anymore.

ii – Naz’s direction has improved a lot by the given time since she has debuted her entry as a director. I wouldn’t say much now as more of her work needed to be watched before deciding where her directorial plays are heading to. As for now, good work!

iii – No surprise here, Syed Arsalan gives a realistic performance as Shashi, one of the tragic characters of the play. I am very pleased to see him to grow stronger as an actor with his every performance that I be able to witness. If he keeps on improving like this, then it would not be long where his name would spoken among the great stars of our industry…

iv – Marya Saad plays four different roles belong to four separate stories told by the men in their drunken state. Anyone can see that how much energy and hard work she has input to give one of the best performances by any actress given in this festival.

v – A very talented actor, Mujtaba Zaidi gives his best performance as Saatu, who has mysteriously, great fear of dogs. In a way he was a comic relief and one of the four tragic characters that Mujtaba played side by side. Perhaps, from now on wards he should be playing characters in lead roles. Other Honorable Mentions: Rest of the cast.

vi – Instead of praising each and everyone here, the performance by the entire cast is of high praises and are memorable. All performers did an excellent job.

vii – The lighting is properly, effectively handled especially recalling life of the past.

viii – The costume designing is suitable with the roles were given. Thumbs up!

ix – Nice work behind its sound design; helped in creating the ‘Real World’ feel.





+ Low Points
i – The different characters played by Marya, should have changed wardrobe as well. People who are not familiar with the play, in the start would see her being the same character linked with all four stories. By having different names, body language or putting up a different scarf is not enough.

ii – Inclusion of a proper original score to be played where it is required the most, such as going back to flashbacks, transition of scenes would benefit the play’s quality.

iii – Being a Bengali play, the accents of the characters that the performers were portraying, were not maintained. This needs to be taken care of.

iv – Further improvisation is needed on the production design. Although, the props were appropriate.




+ Overall

Pagla Ghoda is a rare play, literate, deeply moving and gifted with absolutely overwhelming performances by the entire cast.




Rate: 4.50 out of 5 stars

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