A four-day festival Mera Kuch Samaan… celebrating Gulzar’s poetry and his plays was organised recently. Part of the festival included the staging of Arre! O Henry - an adaption of O’Henry’s short stories.
Shaadi Kara Lo, Nuskha, Madam and Bal Bal Bache were adapted in a theatrical format by Gulzar and turned out to be an absolute treat for theatre lovers. The play was a light-hearted comedy simplifying the silly conundrums of life.
Directed by the well-known theatre director Salim Arif, it included eminent names from theatre such as Lubna Salim, Bakul Thakkar, Amit Jayrath, Nisar Khan and Jamil Khan. Together they put up a remarkable show with new and talented artists like Pooja Nayar, Saima Javed, Arshad Khan and Neetu Pandey.
Each part of the play had a surprise and comical ending which left the audience in fits of laughter.
Shaadi Kara Lo is a tale of two friends who start a matrimony agency to make big money and make a widow, with a major bank balance, available for marriage.
When finally the total earned money is divided equally among the three, one of the friends marries the widow and gets twice the sum!
Madam is a story of a girl who pretends to be an actress who lives in the comfort of servants and reads poetry by Sahir Ludhianvi. She meets another artiste who tries to get close to her subtly but fails. She eventually turns out to be the servant of the actress who she was pretending to be and the resultant chaos makes the play a must watch.
Bal Bal Bache is a tale of a barber who tries to con a bald man by giving him a random recipe to grow hair. That random formula seems to have worked when the man comes back after three months, with brand new hair. But ultimately, the barber is conned by that man who happened to have a twin who had hair.
Nuskha is a play which revolves around a love triangle, wherein one man efforts to get a girl are thwarted rather effectively by another.
Produced by Lubna Salim, this was Arre O Henry’s premier show as it was specially prepared for the second season of this festival. Salim says, “We acted out the scripts provided to us by Gulzar sahib. The crux of the play was its actors who took it into a whole new level.”
He believes the actors and the script are the two pillars of a play. Salim likes to call the talented bunch a ‘forum’ or a ‘platform’ as none of the actors are obliged to perform every time. “Some are also associated with the big and small screens so we are open to new performers.”