A review on Pakistani drama-thriller theatre play, Qusoorwar (2016). It was performed at Arts Council Karachi.

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Sunil Shanker
  • Written (adapted) by Wusatullah Khan

 

 
+ Note

Qusoorwar is an adaptation of Twelve Angry Men (1954) teleplay by Reginald Rose for the Studio One anthology television series. Initially staged as a CBS live production on 20th Sep 1954, the drama was later rewritten for the stage in 1955 under the same title, again for a feature film, ’12 Angry Men’ (1957) and a remake in the year 1997.

Besides this play, there were people from the audience who came forward and complained on the play having the use of excessive adult language (abuses, sex references) in the play which was not only unnecessary but offending for the public to hear it. They suggested or should I say recommended that they should be removed if next time performed.

Clearly, this is not the fault of the writer but of the organizers who held this Adult play at their auditorium. Just like there are films where some of them are not families / kids, in same manner all theatre plays are not written to performed in front of families or kids. They are rated for adult audience only.

 

+ Full Cast

  1. Sunil Shanker as The Foreman / Juror #1
  2. Wusatullah Khan as Juror #2
  3. Fawad Khan as Juror #3
  4. Meesam Naqvi as Juror #4
  5. Saad Fareedi as Juror #5
  6. Ali Junejo as Juror #6
  7. Nazar Ul Hasan as Juror #7
  8. Joshinder Chagger as Juror #8
  9. Ali Rizvi as Juror #9
  10. Rauf Afridi as Juror #10
  11. Osama Tahir as Juror #11
  12. Naveed Kamal as Juror #12

 

 

 

+ Plot

It is about a trial of a young boy who is accused of killing his father. The jury of 11 men & 1 woman are sent into a room where they have to decide the boy’s fate according to the evidence, the witness testimony and trial that took place in the court room. If there is any reasonable doubt then they are to return a verdict of “Not guilty”. But if the votes of the jury are for “Guilty” then it would mandatory to give “Death Penalty” to the accused.

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – The performances by all 12 performers were magnificent! No where can I pin point and say ‘No, that performer didn’t do the job well or gave an under-performance’. Every performer dialogue delivery and punch lines were spoken with their heart out. Everyone did a fantastic job. They all should be proud of it.

ii – The adaptation of the script by Wusatullah Khan is outclass! I was very pleased how realistic the dialogues were kept in the play without declining the quality of it in able to be accepted for a universal audience.

iii – It was well directed by Sunil Shankar. I can assure you that it’s really a tough job to keep interest level high if so, many performers are all present at the same time.

iv – The set design was intentionally kept dark, without any colors. All 12 performers were mostly present together in throughout the play. The purpose was for the audience attention to paid on the 12 jurors rather being diverted at the background.

v – In this play, I have seen these four actors’ performances previously (Syed Meesam Naqvi, Nazar Ul Hasan, Fawad Khan & Saad Zameer Fareedi) and already regard them in ‘Great’ category. The other eight performers were new faces to me including Sunil Shankar.

 

 

+ Low points

i – I am not sure whether to perform off stage (since the present stage does not give you enough access to make another room) is a good decision or not? Could the audience (at far end) view it properly in compare to what they are viewing it on stage?

ii – When the murder weapon is asked to bring inside the room to examine, Juror #1 / The Foreman reaches for the door and opens it (without asking someone outside to open the lock first).

iii – Wusatullah Khan as Juror #2 spoke too softly during his performance. I do understand that his character is written as well-mannered and soft spoken but the audience were facing problems in some of his dialogues.

 

 

+ Overall

Qusoorwar brings the audience to a conclusion to how much difficult it is to be held responsible in finding the accused as “Guilty” even in so-called in ‘Open & Shut’ cases. If the curiosity did not occur in Juror #8, then they would had easily had given their verdict to hang an innocent person till death. Sunil Shankar’s clever direction of this great play adaptation, grand performances, highly thought-provoking thriller that takes another classic play to its true fruition.

 

 

Rate: 4.50 out of 5 stars