Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Tasadum (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Tasadum (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Akber Islam
  • Written by Imran Aslam

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Imran Aslam’s burning socialist ideas are embedded with extremely crisp satirical dialogue.

 

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. IR Omer as Azeem
  2. Taha Khan as Chi
  3. Hamza Sheikh as Meer
  4. Aqeel Ahmed as Tota
  5. Naveed Kamal as Qasmi
  6. Shumaila Taj as Azeem’s Mom
  7. Faraz Sheikh as Jameel
  8. Naz as Meer’s Mom

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
It is about conflicts between two different schools of thought, two ideologies, two generations; conflict between religion and nature.

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points
i – Aqeel Ahmed as Tota unleashes his theatrical bravado. Although a small role but he’s hilarious.

ii – IR Omer invests his efforts as idealist-traction in properly understanding the character. He was a good choice as Azeem. Other Honorable Mentions: Naveed Kamal.

iii – Well, well… I was definitely surprised by its ending. Good call!

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – We were unable to see in-depth character personalities of Chi and Tota.

ii – I felt that the time length was less of the play. It should be 20 – 30 minutes more.

iii – There was no strong supporting role character. Since the main characters had different thoughts on life, hence no one really supported each other’s views.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Similar to Dark Room, Tasadum is an interesting play based on ground reality.

 

 
Rate: 3.25 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hamlet (2017)

A review on William Shakespeare’s foreign-language Drama theatre play, Hamlet (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Gregory Thompson
  • Directed by Bimal Subedi
  • Light Designed by Jibesh Rayamajhi
  • Translation by Shristi Bhattarai & Jeebesh Rayamajhi

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Hamlet is a Nepali play, performed in their local language. For our audience, this play had arranged English subtitles.

In 2001 the Nepali Crown Prince and the rest of the Nepali Royal family lay dead in the palace compound opposite Theatre Village in Kathmandu; violent regime changed. Shakespeare’s recurrent theme is a living memory in Nepal.

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Dilip Ranabhat
  2. Romi Khadgi
  3. Sandesh Shakya
  4. Asha Bandhari
  5. Nawaraj Parajulli
  6. Bholaraj Sapkota
  7. Parajit Bansyal
  8. Deepak Sapkota
  9. Sajan Thapa
  10. Shrawan Rana
  11. Deepesh Rai

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
Hamlet with a shaven head as befits the eldest son at the burning of his father’s lifeless body. He is infuriated with anger and hatred towards his uncle who has taken his late father’s empire and even his wife (Hamlet’s mother). Hamlet is determined to avenge his father’s death so that his spirit could finally rest in peace.

 

 

+ High Points
i – The performances by the main cast was good, especially by the actor who played the role of Hamlet.

ii – The costumes were well designed in the theme of Nepali regime.

 

 

+ Low Points
i – Huge blunder I would say, how the English subtitles were handled.

  • They were placed on higher end of the wall while the play was being performed down below. Either you could read the subtitles or watch the play.
  • Due to stage’s such intense lights, the audience could hardly make out to what was written in subtitles.
  • The subtitles were appearing late while the performers delivered their dialogues already.
  • Half of the subtitles were going out of the frame which all adds up to the technical department’s mismanagement.
  • It started out after 25 minutes late due to arranging subtitles for the audience to understand to what exactly was happening in the play but even then they did not make it work.

ii – The set design was very basic and simple.

 

+ Overall
It’s a shame really, to see one of the greatest Shakespeare’s plays, Hamlet to be performed with such great efforts, only to be received with the public’s walkout due to its unreadable subtitles.

 

 

 
Rate: N/A out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Aasey Hi Chalta Hai (2017)

A review on Pakistani Comedy theatre play, Aasey Hi Chalta Hai (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed & Set Design by Uzma Sabeen
  • Written by Qadir Khan

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Aasey Hi Chalta Hai is a social commentary on the vicious circle of our system which is designed to serve the elite rather than being helpful to the common man.

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Tanveer Gill as Common Man
  2. Ahmer Hussain as Stranger
  3. Fraz Chhotani as Head Clerk
  4. Hammad Khan as Clerk
  5. Ashfaq Ahmed as Agriculture / Cultural / Plantation Dept. Minister
  6. Naz as News Report #1
  7. Haris Khan as News Report #2
  8. Najma Kifayat as MNA

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
A common man tries to help a poet who accidentally stuck under a fallen tree. He tries to bring help by arranging rescue team from the govt. but their only concern is regarding beneficial matters.

 

 

+ High Points
i – Even if Hammad Khan has no punch lines to deliver, even then he has his means to make the audience laugh. His body gestures, movements and hilarious facial expressions were stealing the show from the main cast. Instead of watching and listening carefully as to what other characters are doing, the audience was forced to take a good look at him as what he was doing exactly.

ii – Fraz Chhotani played his supporting role very well and effectively as Head Clerk. Other Honorable Mentions: Ashfaq Ahmed and Tanveer Gill.

iii – Good direction yet again by wonderful Uzma Sabeen. She is very talented in directing comedies.

iv – The message of the black comedy was well intended and represented in a very comical method.

v – The set was well designed and constructed.

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – Most of the jokes and funny punch lines were repetitive, predictable and therefore tiresome to listen to.

ii – The play was too short. It ended in just 40 minutes! Some of the people were thinking that now the play has started to be interesting… and the play was suddenly over.

iii – The cast was picked with strong performers but unfortunately their talents were wasted majorly due to minor roles.

iv – Audience find it hard to believe that the play has actually ended because of its abrupt ending. Most of the people kept remaining at their seats thinking perhaps this is just an interval.

 

+ Overall
Aasay Hi Chalta Hai’s talented cast shines full of humor with combination of good direction but can’t make up for a short premise and lack of worthy jokes.

 

 

 
Rate: 3.0 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Gardish-e-Rung-e-Junoon (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Gardish-e-Rung-e-Junoon (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Fraz Chhotanni
  • Written by Naz

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
The system of injustice and the collision of the institutions of state with the media and elite of the country are the central focus of the play that seeks a change in this unjust system.

 

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Najma Kifayat as Nuura
  2. Owais Mubashir as Nazir
  3. Ashfaq Ahmed as Qadir
  4. Samhan Ghazi as Police Man
  5. Asma Noor as Sakeena
  6. Fraz Chhotani as Journalist
  7. Pashmina Aqeel as Bachi
  8. Muhammad Akhtar as Baray Molvi
  9. Akbar Islam as Sarpanj
  10. Uzma Sabeen as Bibi Ji
  11. Hasnain as Aadmi #1
  12. Farhan Malik as Aadmi #2
  13. Zuhair Zubair as Aadmi #3
  14. Tanveer Gill as Aadmi #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
It is about a mother who is seeking justice for her 10-year-old daughter who was raped by unknown culprit. After refusal for help by the station police and tribal judicial department, the mother tries to find the culprit on her own.

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points
i – Najma Kifayat played her role splendidly as the victim’s mother, where on hard times she is struggling very badly to look for answers. It is good to see you in a different, mature and in a lead role.

ii – As I have always said that Owais Mubashir is a brilliant actor where he is easily adaptable in any role given to him. To play the role as antagonist, he went in depths of the character’s wants and diabolical schemes. Well done! Other Honorable Mentions: Ashfaq Ahmed, Fraz Chhotani and Akbar Islam.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – The play had too much shouting & screaming. I understand the sensitivity of the play’s topic and that the mother is now left alone in front of village that refuses to believe or even help her to investigate — even then the anguish of the protagonist where she sees her fate hopeless could be controlled with less screaming but more facial pain.

Her body movement could be shown as defeated, look surrounded by hallucinations or the unrest spirit of the victim asking for help… there are many things that could be done to reduce the number of times she shouts or scream. Otherwise, it makes the viewer very uncomfortable to sit & watch the play with already sensitive topic as main plot.

ii – The controls behind the play’s lighting was clumsy. An actor who is still giving his monologue yet the stage’s lights is switched off. The audience was left in pitch black darkness while the actor’s speech continued.

iii – The ending seemed like very a fairy tale one. I heard that the original ending was quite different but was it was refused to make the final cut. However, this ending was too unrealistic in the given situation.

 

 

 

+ Overall
Gardish-e-Rung-e-Junoon has many delicate, moving moments but falls short in capturing the audience hearts in the same way as this courageous story was meant to be.

 

 
Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

 

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Absolut Manto (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Absolut Manto (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Kanwal Khoosat
  • Written by Saadat Hasan Manto

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Absolut Manto was supposed to be a Dastangoi play. However, it was conducted in the form of reading the stories to the audience.

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Sania Saeed
  2. Feryal Ali Gauhar
  3. Irfan Khoosat
  4. Sarmad Khoosat

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
Best known for his short stories, Saadat Hasan Manto chronicled the chaos that prevailed in society. Arguably the best Urdu short story writer and writer of realistic prose in South Asia, he was a maverick in a society that did not accept the bitter truths. His contribution to Urdu literature makes him a model for 21st century writers.

 

 

 
+ High Points
i – Well known and established TV stars are in the cast.

 

+ Low Points
i – I am sorry, what? Read? You say Read? In the entire play, you would read to the audience and you call that a performance? If the same task was given to the performers of NAPA / other theatre academy, they would have tell these stories in the shape of their characters… and without reading.

 

+ Overall
All that hype with inclusion of A-grade star cast, Absolut Manto turns out to be an epic failure.

 
Rate: 0 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ikhtiar (2017)

A review on Pakistani drama theatre play, Ikhtiar (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Zain Ahmed
  • Written by Syed Meesam Naqvi

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Ikhtiar is based on a true story. It is about a Shia couple against the backdrop of sectarian violence.

This play explores gender relations within the context of Karachi violence that has targeted many Muslim sect communities.

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Hajira Yamin as Tara
  2. Kashif Hussain as Meesam
  3. Hani Taha as Baji
  4. Saad Zameer Fareedi as Shia Molvi

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

+ Performers & Singers

  1. Zain Nazar
  2. Aisha Iqbal
  3. Abdul Rehman
  4. Syeda Maha Ali
  5. Irma Ali
  6. Damyanti Gosai
  7. Faraz Ali
  8. Muneeb Baig
  9. Mujtaba Rizvi
  10. Ubaid Iqbal
  11. Muhammad Zaman

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
After losing their infant due to miscarriage, there has been an uncomfortable atmosphere that is grown between the couple especially regarding to have a child. The husband fears for the survival of his community as many are killed on hate crimes. His desire for a child is concern and much needed for happiness in his married life.

However, his wife thinks otherwise.

 

 

+ High Points
i – Hajra Yamin as the fragile wife performed the protagonist role marvelously. Her role was the most difficult one to perform yet she did it better than the audience expectations.

ii – Hani Taha played her role very natural. Her performance was so realistic that it showed as if she was interacting with someone close to her rather than playing her part. Other Honorable Mentions: Rest of the cast.

iii – As for writing — Meesam, you made us all cry… is this how a play is written? After the play ended with huge round of applause, every guy was waiting in queue to congratulate Meesam by hugging him in similar manner as we do to a bridegroom. It was beautifully written with very emotional, heartening theme which ran throughout the play.

I remember, that there were two women who were sited next to me and kept crying throughout the play. Every few minutes, a new tissue wrapper was opened due to consistent tears running down their cheeks.

iv – Respected Zain Ahmed struck a gold in his direction. In his plays, we are able to witness high praise worthy performances and spend a wonderful time.

v – An effective sad song was sung by Zain Nazar. He has a very good voice.

vi – It takes a daring step to present these sensitive issues regarding sectarianism and religious intolerance, arranged marriages, dominating gender roles, and the rights of women especially of giving birth in Pakistan. These major issues have taken over the new generations as well.

 

 
+ Low Points
i – Basic story line / theme with hardly any set design.

 

+ Overall
Ikhtiar tells a personal story that never loses its touch with the vast Muslim Sect community which spaces in surrounding and defining it. It is truly an epic that breathes. And it’s a beauty.

 

 
Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Return to Palestine (2017)

A review on foreign comedy drama theatre play, Return to Palestine (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Micaela Miranda

 

 

 

+ Note
Return to Palestine is a Palestinian black comedy play, which was performed in English. At abroad, this play was originally performed in Arabic. It was devised together with the ensemble of graduated actors from The Freedom Theatre Acting School.

In a sarcastic, comic but also tragic style, the actors create the space, characters and even the emotional spaces they live in in a virtuoso play with their bodies in an a very small stage – “as small as Palestine”.

Return to Palestine gathers stories from Jenin, Fasayel, Dheisha Camp, Mufaqara and Gaza.

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Nabil Alraee
  2. Ihad Talahmeh
  3. Alaa Shehadah
  4. Ameer Abu Rob
  5. Motaz Malhees
  6. Raneen Odeh
  7. Shahd Samara
  8. Samer Abuantash

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
Jad, a Palestinian born in America, decides to go to Palestine for the first time in his life. Wanting to know more about his people and identity, he finds out that reality is very different from what you see in the news.

 

 

 

+ High Points
i – The play’s humor boosted the impact of the actors’ performances.

ii – The performances by the entire cast is splendidly executed. It kept everyone attention glued to the stage.

iii – The musical chores played via Arabic instruments helped the scenes’ shifting and lifted the play interest level.

iv – It shows that with even limited resources, how you can still present it thriving while having abundance of creativity. The creative way to show transportation, the journey in visiting different cities, the sound effects made by performers was very well put. The director’s creativity made me remind of the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.

v – The audience consisted mostly of Pakistani Muslims and already have a soft spot for Palestine and their play. Thus, the public were already warmly attached to it. The director did a fantastic job by taking this play through the shape of black comedy and ending it on a very emotional note. It touched the audience hearts in such a way that there was no doubt that they would end up by giving a standing ovation.

I could still remember the echoes of the audience applause. Truly well done!

 

 

+ Low Points
i – The story was very simple and basic.

ii – Since there were no set design, there were times where it was difficult to make out of their gestures.

 

+ Overall
Return to Palestine breathes new life into this kind of black comedy with inventive direction, influential performances, and an irresistible excess of heart.

 
Rate: 4.50 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Alif Noon: Doodh Ka Jala (2020)

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.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Written & Directed by Syed Talal Jilani
  • Produced by Irfan Anwar

 

 

 
+ Note

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

  1. Muneeb Baig as Allan
  2. Mojiz Hasan as Nanha
  3. Yogeshwar Karera as AQ Kidwai
  4. Talal Jilani as Malik Tabraiz
  5. Fareeha Raza as Roma
  6. Moiz Khan as Jalsa Khan
  7. Alina Zuberi as Komal Khanzadi
  8. N/A as News Broad Caster
  9. N/A as FBR Inspector

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
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.

 

 

 

+ Overall
Alif Noon is a fun-loving enjoyable and nostalgic play to the original TV series.

 
Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hotel Propaganda (2017)

A review on foreign-language musical & dance theatre play, Hotel Propaganda (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Direction, Choreography, Scenography & Lighting by Brigel Gjoka
  • Assistant Directed by Mattia Gandini
  • Costumes Designed by Qazi Hasan Ali
  • Makeup & Hair Styling by Sikander Khan

 

 

 

+ Note
Goethe-Institut Pakistan in collaboration with the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) brings German director and choreographer Brigel Gjoka to Pakistan. This would be Brigel Gjoka’s third time in Karachi. In 2014 for the first time, along with Mattia Gandini, he performed on the stage in his own production “Eksod” in the NAPA International Theatre Festival. In 2015 he came back, this time to make a production assisted by Mattia Gandini, with local artists from NAPA and directed “Among Fog” – a captivating performance, enthralling the audience.

Hotel Propaganda is about a house of all times that has never changed; the vibration that hits the wall looking for sunrise to make the souls dance. Questioned so much that becomes a form of un-applied tradition, love, dismisses itself and takes a leave of absence to the forgotten land that one carries daily. Then, here I sit and watch it mocking me inside my walls, while I prepare the little drops of empathy, hidden, ready to spit out as soon as the shelter becomes weak, to hide inside again.

This is Vajdaan Shah’s best performance till date.

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Vajdaan Shah as Mad Hotel Owner
  2. Sunil Shankar as Singer / Guest #1
  3. Joshinder Chaggar as Guest #2 (Blond Wig)
  4. Paras Masroor as Guitarist / Guest #3
  5. Sabiha Zia as Guest #4
  6. Masood Ur Rehman as Guest #5
  7. Taha Khan as Guest #6
  8. Ishtiaque Rasool / IR Omar as Guest #7
  9. Mahesh Kumar as Guest #8
  10. Erum Bashir as Nurse
  11. Shabana Hassan as Air Hostess

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
A place created by love, where time stands still and all comes to stay in huis-clos.

 

 

+ High Points
i – Vajdaan Shah as Mad Hotel Owner played the lead part such impressive manner! His entry in just underwear was with absolute confidence! He strongly reminded me of the main supporting character as the ‘Mad Hatter’ from Alice in the Wonderland. Vajdaan, I salute you on your performance and confidence level.

ii – Shabana Hassan as Air Hostess played the role in highly seductive manner. Side by side, Erum Ero as Nurse played her part to the core. Other Honorable Mentions: Rest of the cast.

iii – The first dance sequence that took place after Mad Hotel Owner where he makes his first appearance; certainly, knew that this play is going to take the audience for a one wild ride!

iv – I believe that the selection of the songs was good and helped the dance chores throughout the play.

v – Excellent job in costumes design / wardrobe management. Marvelous work!

vi – Makeup & hair styling did a fabulous work. It helped with the characters’ different looks and clothing.

vii – The real deal to make this play not only a success but a memorable one also was the reason of lighting during the different beats & moods of this musical / dance play. The different colored lights helped greatly in understanding a different scenario.

viii – It was very well choreographed by Brigel Gjoka. Every dance move was electrifying in its nature. Bravo!

ix – The scene where a dining table with long legs was used (literally) where the guests were forced to raise their hands in able to have their dinner, was a very clever move to interpret the scene.

x – The set design and its scenography was something very new and creative to the audience.

 

 

+ Low Points
i – I believe that the first half of the dance play was much more enjoyable and interesting.

ii – It is very unlikely that one would understand each and every scene if a person watches the play at least for the first time. The director left it too much for the audience to decide.

iii – As for our audience, their taste in plays is quite different than this one was performed. Half of the audience either did not understand or did not enjoyed the play as it should have been.

 

+ Overall
As visually delight as it is, Hotel Propaganda’s scenography & lighting helped tremendously in bringing out the excitement to watch and understand. Brigel Gjoka’s choreography with great songs selection echoes the fundamentals of the director’s work — for the best outcome.

 
Rate: 4.25 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Insaf Ka Daira (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Insaf Ka Daira (2017) aka Circle of Justice. It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Meesam Naqvi
  • Written by Bertolt Brecht

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Insaf Ka Daira is an adapted play, originally written by German modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht as, Caucasian Chalk Circle in 1944.

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Faraz Ali as High-Ranking Officer / Drunken Pastor / Corrupt Judge
  2. Irma Ali as Peasant Girl
  3. Muneeb Baig as Brave Soldier
  4. Najma Kifayat as Wealthy Mother
  5. Imran / Ome Fatani as Adviser #1 / Abusive Husband*
  6. Arthor John as Adviser #2 / Brother of Peasant Girl
  7. Godina Fernandes as Maid / Old Mother-in-Law
  8. Damyanti as Sister-in Law / Lawyer #1
  9. Mujtaba Rizvi as Guitarist / Lawyer #2

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
A peasant girl who rescues a baby, becomes a better mother than its wealthy natural parents.

 

 

+ High Points
i – Faraz Ali in three different roles that is as High-Ranking Officer / Drunken Pastor / Corrupt Judge acted superbly. The Drunken Pastor role was best that he performed from the lot. His performance was so well that it seemed as though the writer wrote these characters for him to play only.

ii – Good effort by Irma Ali who gave in for her character and to do bold scenes. Audience have definitely appreciated her hard work. Other Honorable Mentions: Author John.

iii – The play’s dark humor did a significant job in its storytelling.

iv – The musical chores played by S Mujtaba Rizvi was good.

 

 

+ Low Points
i – Audience were enjoying Faraz Ali’s physical appearance more than the plays’ humorous punch lines.

ii – These days everyone is breaking the fourth wall, in able to either interact with audience or accept that they are part of fictional world. This move isn’t uncommon or as such funny anymore. Still, if the director feels that he should insert it in his play… perhaps doing it once would be enough or better find a creative way of doing it.

iii – I believe that the shock elements could have toned down a bit which would not had made the audience uncomfortable to watch. I understand that it was the intention of both, the director and writer. Although, it was not explicitly shown however, its direct indication would have done its job.

iv – Since most cast members’ act were satisfactory and the direction was okay, therefore I find the play mild to watch.

+ Overall
Insaf Ka Daira offers a few moments of loud fun for genre fans, but lacks enough subordinate intellect to consistently connect once the performances kicks in.

 
Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars