A review on Pakistan Romantic Drama theatre play, Heer Ranjha (2017). It was performed at Arts Council Karachi.
I. Directed, Production Design, Costumes Design & Written (Adaptation) by Naz
II. Asst. Directed by Damyanti Gosai
III. Co-Written (Adaptation) By Kafi Kazmi
IV. Vocal Song by Anil Tahir Azad
Heer Ranjha was originally written by Waris Shah. Some historians say that the story was written after Shah had fallen in love with a girl named Bhag Bhari while other people say that Heer & Ranjha were real personalities who lived under the Lodi dynasty. Later on, Waris Shah later utilized these personalities for his story.
It’s possible that this story has symbolic meaning attached to it, referring to the implacable chase of a man has towards his creator.
Heer Ranjha is one of the most popular tragic romances of Punjab which it is about the love of Heer and Ranjha. Due to its plot and tragic story, it is often compared to the Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
+ Full Cast
1) Fajir Sheikh as Heer
2) Umair Rafiq as Ranjha
3) Samhan Ghazi as Qazi (Molvi)
4) Aamir Naqvi as Sarpanj
5) Muntazir Mehdi as Seida (Dumb)
6) Damyanti Gosai as Sehti / Heer’s Mother
7) Asma Noor as Village Girl #1 / Heer’s Friend #1
8) Roohi Ahmed as Village Girl #2 / Heer’s Friend #2
9) Saddam Hussain as Qeedu (Handicap)
10) Aisha Iqbal as Ranjha’s Bhabhi
11) Akbar Aftab Ladhani as Ravi (Narrator)
12) Anil Tahir Azad as Waris Shah (Singer)
13) Ashfaq Ahmed as Chaudhry (Heer’s Father)
14) Raheel Siddiqui as Ranjha’s Brother
15) Zain Qureshi as Groom’s side Dancer #1 / Daako #1
16) Zeerak Khan Niazi as Groom’s side Dancer #2 / Daako #2
17) N/A as Heer’s Groom
Heer is a beautiful girl who is born in a wealthy family of the Sial (tribe) Jatt while Ranjha also a Jatt of the Ranjha tribe and is the youngest of four brothers who lives in the village of Takht Hazara. One day in wedding ceremony, Ranjha meets and falls in love with Heer. Unfortunately there are those people full of envy who would do anything to stop this from ever happening.
+ High Points
i – Saddam Hussain as Qeedu is yet again, the show stealing performance. It seems that he was born to play the role of Qeedu. His strong performance was one of the reasons why the interest level was kept throughout the play.
ii – Roohi Ahmed has done a fantastic job in playing her supporting role. She performed her character with such ease and was enjoying herself. Other Honorable Mentions: Umair Rafiq and Aamir Naqvi.
iii – Lots of improvement in the character development especially of the main characters which made an important connection with the audience. Then whatever conflicts would fall on these two lead actors, we as audience would feel their pain of hurting or losing them.
iv – Not sure to see Ranjha taking off his ‘fake’ beard was part of the script or added to make it as amusing scene. Either way, it was worked with the moment.
v – Good development with the narration by Akbar Aftab Ladhani. He was able to capture the tragic moments with his strong vocal and eye contact. Nice work!
vi – Nice vocal songs sung by Anil Tahir Azad. It helped to move the story forward and gave emotional touch to it.
+ Low Points
i – Due to lack of experience, the lead performances were average at best but not great. The fault is not of these two lead actors as they are still in their young acting age. The casting of the lovers should be given to those actors who would deliver strong performances as the script demands.
ii – Lighting should further be improved. Such as the first time when Ranjha looks at Heer, there should be two lime lights only where one at Ranjha and other one at Heer while all other lights should be switched off or lit very dimly.
iii – Although Fajir Sheikh did a fair job as Heer but she needs to work with her voice control and how to speak in playing different characters.
iv – The set design was okay but it covered major of the stage portions. The actors were restricted with very limited movement / blocking.
This remake’s several scenes were improvised, many of the interesting dialogues were added to boost up the morale and the hard work of the performers in making Heer Ranjha an enjoyable play.
Rate: 3.25 out of 5 stars