KARACHI, Nov 12: The National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) will present Samuel Beckett’s famous play ‘Waiting for Godot’ directed by Zia Mohyeddin from Nov 21 to Dec 8 (Thursday to Sunday) at the academy’s in-house theatre. This was announced by Mr Mohyeddin at a press conference on Tuesday evening.
It was quite a pleasant surprise seeing the eminent theatre person himself addressing the media. He seldom makes an appearance on such occasions, but his presence was indicative of the fact that he attached great importance to the play.
Mr Mohyeddin said the play had been performed in almost every part of the world and even these days could be seen in New York and London. So, in a manner of speaking, Napa’s production would coincide with the productions in New York and London. ‘Waiting for Godot’ belonged to the ‘theatre of absurdity’ genre, he said.
Terming the play one of the literary masterpieces of the 20th century, Mr Mohyeddin argued that though efforts were made to translate it into Urdu, it was difficult to find the phrases and concepts that could correspond with those in the English version. “This is the reason it’s the first time that Napa was presenting a play in English,” he said. Also, he added, there was a sizable amount of theatre-goers in the city who liked English plays.
Mr Mohyeddin said Ali Ahmed’s Urdu translation of ‘Waiting for Godot’ (Savera Honay Tak) left much to be desired because it didn’t do justice to either the gist (maqsad) or the central idea (maslak) of the play. He also introduced his cast to the media. Faris Khalid will play the role of Estragon, Ali Hasan Junejo (Vladimir), Ameed Riyaz (Pozzo), Fawad Khan (Lucky) and Alia Mohyeddin (Boy). After that Mr Mohyeddin and his team of actors left the conference room so that they could carry on with the play’s rehearsals.
Artistic director of the Napa Repertory Theatre Zain Ahmed said Napa’s graduating class would put up an Indian play ‘Ebong Indrajit’, written by Badal Sarkar, on Dec 18 and 19. In January, Rahat Kazmi would direct Luigi Pirandello’s drama ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’, Mr Ahmed added. He also touched upon children’s play ‘Ali Baba Chalees Chor’ that recently met with success and would be staged soon, along with another play for children in January.
Replying to a question, he said Napa had begun receiving original scripts. Imran Yousuf, whose play ‘Stumped’ created quite a bit of ripples last year, had sent another play that the academy was going through. It’s in English and its Urdu version was tentatively called Rishta, he disclosed. At that point Arshad Mehmood interjected and said the academy wanted new writers who could pen plays for the theatre. He had often spoken with those who were writing for television that they should also think about dabbling in other genres. Responding to a query, Mr Mehmood said it’s important that we produced our own dramas, but it’s also worthwhile to know how writers in different parts of the world viewed humanity and issues related to it. He then briefly talked about the music programmes that the academy was going to organise in collaboration with Italian and British musicians. ‘Waiting for Godot’ will be staged for the press on Nov 20.