Theatre has continually been a medium of entertainment for people in Pakistan. Some of the most promising actors have made a mark and proved their mettle through their stellar theatrical performances. While plays presented by established directors and writers are sure to create buzz, there are some budding playwrights and directors who have to go an extra mile to make an impact.
One such refreshing comedy play is Ke Har Khuwaish Pe Dum Nikle. The play is a directorial venture of Arman Tejani of Qissa Kahani, who is a budding filmmaker and theatre artist. Having played an active part in the making of plays like The 39 Steps and Sab Golmaal Hai, this is his first commercial theatre play where he has taken the director’s seat.
The play — which is an adaption of American playwright Susan Glaspell’s work — revolves around three characters; Shireen (played by Shabana Hassan) who is a middle-aged housewife, her husband Asad (played by Tariq Raja) who is an architect and his sister-in-law Huma (played by Aisha Hassan) who has come over to stay with the couple. Shireen’s newfound interest in psychology and dream interpretation makes her question her husband’s actions and motivations.
She is always seen berating her husband, reading too much into his actions and words. Asad has reached his threshold with her as she’s consumed in analyzing things that are not even worthy of analysis. She believes that her husband should go to Dr Khursheed -who is Shireen’s professor – and get his psychoanalysis done but he refuses to do so. Huma, the naive sister also gets ensued in her sister’s obsession with psychology when Shireen over-analyzes her dream and asks her to visit Dr Khursheed too.
The performed was held in a room with a capacity of 50 people — an ideal setting for this kind of event. The play provides the ideal comic relief needed at the end of a long day with strong direction, which strongly shows in the movements of the characters; they do not move around the stage without motivation and it does not seem forceful. The two-act play transitions from one scene to another beautifully without any awkwardness or long pause.
The characters perform at their very best during the 40 minutes. Their expressions, their voice range and their engagement with one other; all of it is as natural as can be which adds value to the overall performance. Throughout the duration of the play, the audience had several moments of laughter fits, making it an instant success with the spectators.
The narrative is clear and crisp and there is not a single moment where you will feel confused or left out on a joke. All in all, the value of money and the ideal duration, make it worth watching. The play also marks a return of theatre plays at the MAD School after years.