A review on Pakistani comic-drama theatre play, Alif Noon: Doodh Ka Jala (2020). Its Production House is Stage Nomads Productions. This play was performed at Arts Council Karachi.
- Written & Directed by Syed Talal Jilani
- Produced by Irfan Anwar
Alif Noon is a satire comedy drama play which is itself is a remake of classic Pakistani TV series a same name. The late renowned classic TV artists, Kamal Ahmed Rizvi and M. Rafi Khawar were very popular in playing their iconic characters as Allan & Nanha, among the audience and critics alike.
Unknown to many, the original TV series, Alif Noon is an inspiration of classic American sitcom, The Abbott and Costello Show (1952 – 55). Its radio program was previously launched by the same name in 1942 – 49.
In 2018, an official news was released by Pakistani comedian, Faisal Qureshi who would bring Alif Noon’s cinematic remake with starring, Shehzad Roy and Faisal Qureshi as the legendary duo of Allan and Nanha. Faisal is the man behind the film’s direction and it was said to be released in later year 2019. However, till this date, no word has been provided by their BTS team for the film delay.
+ Full Cast
- Muneeb Baig as Allan
- Mojiz Hasan as Nanha
- Yogeshwar Karera as AQ Kidwai
- Talal Jilani as Malik Tabraiz
- Fareeha Raza as Roma
- Moiz Khan as Jalsa Khan
- Alina Zuberi as Komal Khanzadi
- N/A as News Broad Caster
- N/A as FBR Inspector
Allan comes up with a new scheme by luring the corrupt businessman into believing that he can expand his milk business by bringing back the ‘Ocean of Milk’ from the moon.
+ High Points
i – I was taken aback to know that the writer, director as well as one of main supporting character, Malik Tabraiz, is one & the same person of this play. A huge round of applause for Talal Jilani! He has executed such brilliant work in all three respected categories. One would wonder to how this play may have turned out to be if its direction had not met people / fans’ expectations? Praise worthy work, I must say.
ii – Rarely to say this but, the entire cast performance was superb. Every performer in their character had played out as the script demanded it to be. The best thing of their performances is that, each & every scene of the play was so interesting that the audience attention was all the time glued at the stage.
iii – Impressive performances by the two lead stars, Muneeb Baig and Mojiz Hasan who played the iconic characters of the original TV series. They not only performed among the best but also revived the former stars’ performances as they did back in 60’s. It literally felt as though we (the audience) were watching Kamal Ahmed Rizvi & M. Rafi Khawar’s performance on-stage.
iv – Splendidly written screenplay by Talal Jilani; many of the scenes were entertaining. The audience loved the emotional touch that was given, where the play shows the lead characters’ true selves. It was heartwarming and very moving to many people.
v – A very decent & pleasant production design was constructed for the play to be conducted in.
vi – A surprising cameo appearance was made by the producer of this play in an unaccredited role.
+ Low Points
i – Originally, Kamal Rizvi would highlight such fake schemes which would reflect our city / country’s realistic issues. In every episode, such schemes were shown of the con artists. He kept it as believable as possible. This way, the viewers would relate such issues in their real life and try to avoid falling or conducting themselves with such ill-intended activities in their society. That was the moral of their each episode.
However, this play’s plot came up with highly unrealistic scheme, ‘The Discovery of Milk on the Moon’.
ii – The TV series, Alif Noon, would often have more than one emotional scenes in each episode. Thus, by having staging a play as a remake on the original TV series, the writer inserted a couple of similar emotional scenes, which is understood and logical, since, the play is a closely adaptation of the TV series.
Yet, still, as one of the member from the audience & as a critic, I strongly feel that by having one emotional scene is enough for such comic play. The main reason is the pace of play’s laughter was such at high level that by having another emotional scene had bought us all to a halt… like a ‘Speed Breaker’ for a speeding car.
It is suggested to either cut off the 2nd emotional scene regarding the bond of their friendship between the two lead characters or reduce its time limit. I remember that everyone laughter in the audience came to a standstill. It took them time to recover and go back to the comical world this play had created.
iii – Really, not a fan of watching Stereo Type characters. Especially, for a comic play, this is ‘Lazy Writing’. It is best suggested to avoid using such characters.
Yes, I know that our mass audience just love to watch such idiotic characters that make fun of themselves. But, as a part of a literate society, it’s about time that we must change that and come up with new, different characters with the help of creative writing.
iv – I felt that AQ Kidwani’s scenes were either cut short or given less emphasis to his character. After all, due to his bizarre ‘Discoveries’, Allan comes up with another scam plan. I believe that Kidwani’s scenes should have been more in the play.
Alif Noon is a fun-loving enjoyable and nostalgic play to the original TV series.
Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars