Lovengers is an original production by Lush Entertainment which previously brought to Karachi adaptations of ‘Chicago’ and ‘It Runs in the Family’. It was a successfully promoted and sponsored play that attracted hundreds of Karachiites. In all fairness to the play it triumphed in making theatre an attractive night out, which is a good shift from our usual fetish of spending the evening indulging in either food or...food.
What about the play encouraged this many to be so culturally inclined, you ask? Well for starters, as previously mentioned it has been a play well publicised by the media and had ample support from several giants of the service and manufacturing industry. Aside from this the humour was exceedingly accessible and most of it can be dubbed as slapstick comedy. The play was kept strictly in Urdu to make sure that it was not just exclusive to the portion of the populace that deems itself fit to be cultured. The set was vibrant and very well designed by Naheed Ali.
However the play seemed to be too big for the theatre that it was performed in. The live band that was playing felt like it was too loud in relation to the space being acted in. The cast of the play was coming in from several entrances and one would have to try and simultaneously watch what was happening on the stage and the shenanigans that were taking place three rows behind your seat.
In a nutshell this play was trying to do too much. There were at least about five different series of events that never really got resolved in the end. A movie is being filmed in a hospital. The characters in this film have their own stories. Their plot morphs from being an unrequited love story, to a story of sexist abuse, to finding new love, to the mafia being the entire reason behind this film being made in the first place and then with no tangible connections to the rest of the story, a political party hijacks the whole movie operation for a rally. Despite giving the audience two endings, neither of them made matters any clearer and the final outcome was that everyone died. We were then told by one of the actors that if it feels as though the story ended on a negative note and it should be understood that the show hasn’t ended yet. After which the entire cast bursts into song for some bizarre reason.
On a positive note all the actors performed as well they possibly could have done despite the haphazardness of the storyline. The music was mostly the timeless bollywood classics of the 60’s and 70’s that added to the feel good factor of the play. The singing was live and the dances were all choreographed splendidly by Breakhna and Zarmeena Yusuf. Especially impressive was Sundas Tariq’s performance who despite falling victim to the blunder of a faulty mic during her song sequence [twice!] powered through. Saqib Sameer, the playwright and possibly the only consistent thing in the play lived up to his name on the acting front at least. If there had been a coherent line of plot to follow then this play could have been a legitimate hit. As of this point and from this reviewer's perspective the reasons for its success were superficial from an artistic angle.