A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Habib Uncle aka Habib Mamo (2017). It’s an adapted play, originally written as ‘Uncle Vanya’ by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov.
- Directed by Damyanti Gosai
Habib Uncle is an adaptation from Uncle Vanya (1897) which received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski. Uncle Vanya is unique among Chekhov’s major plays because it is essentially an extensive reworking of his own play published a decade earlier, The Wood Demon.
There have been many adaptations into film and TV series, including BBC TV episode Uncle Vanya (1991) featuring renowned stars such as David Warner, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Ian Holm.
+ Full Cast
- Muneeb Baig as Habib Mamo aka Uncle Vanya / Ivan
- Najma Kifayat as Durdana aka Yelena / Helena
- Nadir Hussain as Professor aka Prof. Serebryakov / Aleksandr
- Umair Rafiq as Dr. Salman aka Dr. Astrov
- Aisha Iqbal as Salimah aka Sonya
- Godina Fernadez as Buha aka Nurse / Marina
- Imran Fattani as Shareef aka Waffles / Ilyas
- Roohi Bano as Fakhrunisa aka Mrs. Voynitsky / Maria
A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Durdana. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother, brother still lives there and manages the farm. There they meet old friends, daughter (by first wife) and family relatives including Habib who still has his undying feelings for Durdana… even after so much time has passed.
+ High Points
i – A wonderful performance by Umair Rafiq. With passage of time, Umair is proving everyone that he would soon stand in the ranks of great artists and his fellow young performers should see him as a moral example for self-improvement.
ii – Roohi Bano played a very different role and performed nicely. Other Honorable Mentions: Aisha Iqbal.
iii – The makeup artist did a good job.
iv – The set design was nicely presented / constructed.
+ Low Points
i – After knowing who was directing the play, I had very low expectations. And therefore, I was not disappointed.
ii – There was this unrealism feeling throughout the play, as if the cast were told to PERFORM only rather than to be in their CHARACTERS with natural dialogue delivery.
iii – Overall performances by the entire cast was mild at best.
iv – Although the play was shorten to 50 minutes, that is almost half of the play which was performed instead of 2 hours one. No matter whatever the reasons are behind this decision, the real intense scenes are to be seen in the 2nd half ‘If’ it played out entirely. Really disappointing!
v – For the rest of the cast, kindly pick those roles which are different or challenging while giving good (or above average) performance. Try not to repeat or be stuck in ‘Type Cast’ roles. This would help you to grow and build confidence in yourselves as a strong performer.
Habib Uncle is a hard effort to make it closer to the original source… which this play itself is barely watchable.
Rate: 1.0 out 5 stars