Romance de resistance Anarkali was presented by Karachi Drama Circle
An absorbing performance of about an hour of Anarkali by Karachi Drama Circle here on Saturday at Alhamra Cultural Complex gave another opportunity to viewers to re-enliven the glorious Mughal era. A romance de resistance Anarkali was presented in English with quality Urdu songs – lyrics depicting the theme and overall impression of the play at important junctures.
The dance sequences were aptly choreographed on the vocals of Shujah Haider and Shakeela Khorasanni. The last song – Woh shaam woh rukhsat ka samaan yaad rahey gaa – left a deep impression on the audience. The whole cast had come from Karachi.
This English play Anarkali, penned and directed by Sohail Malik, was first presented to foreign delegates in 2003 at the Mausoleum of Noor Jehan in the periphery of Lahore. Later, the same play was staged at the President House (Islamabad) on the occasion of the Asian First Ladies Conference. The Circle is expected to perform the same play in Canada September this year.
Conceived by Shaiyan Malik, she narrated the ‘legend of the doomed flower’ – Anarkali – after she appeared from Maqraba-e-Noor Jehan (Mausoleum of Noor Jehan). Her narration set the stage and the tempo of the play apart from the constant descriptions of the behind-the-scene happenings. On the other hand, the dialogues were recorded and played while the actors performed on the stage. It might have caused a few stirs considering theatre is supposed to be played live to the audience. "It was primarily because of the huge open space and other technical problems – non-availability of sophisticated microphones, for instance – that we had to act on the already-recorded dialogues," said the director and all-in-all man on and behind the stage Sohail Malik. He also played the character of Akbar – one of the most powerful Mughal kings.
Exquisite dresses by Shaiyan Malik were another attraction for the viewers. No doubt, she is one of the accomplished designers of this country, but by designing dresses for a theatrical performance, again she made her mark through the portrayal of the flamboyancy and love for the heavily embroidered clothes of the Mughals.
Murad Malik was the protagonist, Saleem, in the play, while Mona Lisa played Anarkali, which was one of the most noticeable characters of the play. "This is my seventh theatrical performance. While acting on the stage, I am thoroughly engrossed in my performance of the particular character. It is one of the most satisfying domains of showbiz where you are exposed to the audience directly," said model-cum-TV actress Mona Lisa, whose Rabi Zinda Rahey Gee gave her recognition. To Murad Malik, "such stage performances give you a high when the audience demonstrate their reaction immediately." Fiza Ali and Shama Altaf were among the other prominent actors.
Tailpiece: Anarkali was presented to raise funds for CARE – a welfare organisation working in education sector. CARE runs 180 schools, having about 1,00,000 pupils. "Join hands with us for the better future of the dispossessed children," was the message given by Seema Aziz of CARE to the audience.