Begum Jaan to be restaged

Published September 6, 2013
Ali Sheikh as Sanjay Paandey and Nimra Bucha in the title role of Begum Jaan. - Dawn
Ali Sheikh as Sanjay Paandey and Nimra Bucha in the title role of Begum Jaan. - Dawn

KARACHI: Indian playwright Javed Siddiqui’s celebrated play Begum Jaan is going to be restaged from Sept 12 at the National Academy of Performing Arts’ in-house theatre.

This was announced by artistic director of the Napa Repertory Theatre Zain Ahmed at a press conference on the academy’s premises on Thursday evening. Journalists were also told that prior to the play a two-day music concert featuring Napa’s faculty, renowned folk singer Akhtar Chanal, vocalist Zoe Viccaji and pop band Fuzon would also be organised from Sept 6 (today).Mr Ahmed said since having a repertory theatre meant doing plays that were part of the repertory, Napa had decided to do Begum Jaan (directed by Anjum Ayaz) one more time. Another reason for its rerun was that it was very well received when the academy produced it a couple of years back. He said this time round one of the three main performers was replaced. Paras Masroor would now be seen in the role of Sanjay Pandey (the part was previously played by Ali Shaikh) while the other two principal actors Nimra Bucha (Begum Jaan) and Naila Jafri (Zarina) were unchanged.

Informing the media on Napa’s future projects Mr Ahmed said in October a play titled Court Martial would be presented while in November Samuel Beckett’s absurdist work of art Waiting for Godot, directed by Zia Mohyeddin, was on the cards.Head of Napa’s music department Nafees Ahmed spoke on the music-related events. He termed the two-day concert ‘music merger’ and commented it would have a new and interesting kind of music. He mentioned the names of Akhtar Chanal, Zoe Viccaji and Fuzon and hoped that the audience would like them. He said a show was also lined up for the month of October while in November a special concert based on Allama Iqbal’s poetry composed by Arshad Mahmood would be held. In December a programme titled Music Bazaar was also being contemplated.

Replying to a question, director of Begum Jaan Anjum Ayaz said his team had been working hard on the project (rehearsals were going on for the past one month) and the audience would see an improved performance.

Naila Jafri, who sounded utterly unhappy with the sociopolitical goings-on in the country, said that at a time when state institutions were not doing what they’re supposed to do, Napa was the sole institute which was functioning in a sincere manner. She enthused that working with Napa enlivened her (mujhe zinda ker deta hai).

Responding to a question Nimra Bucha said taking part in a Napa production meant there was no burden of filling the hall (‘bums on seats’) unlike some other productions.

Begum Jaan will be staged from Sept 12 to Sept 22 from Thursday to Sunday.

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