Indian play a big hit in violence-hit Karachi

Last Updated 04 May 2018, 12:00 IST

A play written by celebrated Indian playwright Swadesh Deepak has become a hit in Pakistan's largest city and is drawing a good response from theatre-lovers.

"Court Martial", a play set in India, depicts a suspenseful courtroom drama highlighting class and caste differences and fissures in the subcontinental society. It is directed by Sunil Shanker, a graduate of Pakistan's prestigious National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA).

"The response from the people has been good so far because the play relates to the times we are living in, where getting justice is linked to power and influence," said Zain Ahmed, Artistic Director at NAPA.

The play, which has a cast of NAPA graduates, launched on October 9 and will run through October 20, but they are chances it could be extended, Ahmed said.

Shanker said the well defined play was part of a series of dramas being performed by the academy to highlight the volatile situation in Karachi, which impinges on the condition of the country as a whole.

Ahmed announced that from October 25, the academy would participate in a programme called "Pursukoon Karachi", an initiative by the artist community in response to the violence in the port city.

Dozens of people have been killed in incidents of political and ethnic violence in Karachi this year. Besides the activities of armed groups linked to political parties, the city has also been affected by violence by the Pakistani Taliban.

In November, Samuel Beckett's renowned play, "Waiting for Godot", will be staged. It will the first English play ever staged by NAPA, Ahmed said.

Shanker said what was encouraging for him was the fact that even though the situation in Karachi was uncertain, the number of people coming to watch dramas was growing by the day.

He said that recently "Begum Jaan" drew record audiences while "Ali Baba Chalees Chor", a play specially for children staged every weekend at the NAPA in-house theatre, has been booked for the next 21 weeks.

(Published 15 October 2013, 13:36 IST)

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