If Zia Mohyeddin's Dheti Deewarain was a critique of an authoritarian older generation, Fawad Khan’s Baba Jalinoos will be peeling off layers of hypocrisy in our society.
The play, which is an adaptation of the famous French playwright Moliere’s Tartuffe, will be staged from September 11 (this evening) at NAPA under The Repertory Theatre of the National Academy of Performing Arts.
The play has been directed by theatre actor and NAPA alumnus Fawad Khan, while its script has been penned by veteran actor and writer Khalid Ahmed.
Speaking to Dawn.com, Fawad said that the audience should be able to relate to the play because it addresses hypocrisy: “The play is basically about this man, Azam, who belongs to an upper-middle class and falls for this jaali baba, who is a fake maulvi. He gets in awe of him and is willing to do anything for him. It’s a comedy about these hypocrites and those who end up falling for them.”
But this isn’t the first time that someone has attempted to translate Tartuffe. Tehrik-i-Niswaan has also performed it before: “Tehrik-i-Niswan has performed it before by the name of Behrupiya with a different script and they didn’t do the whole play,” said Fawad.
Fawad, who is also part of the Daastangoi group, is solely directing the play: “Generally when I am directing plays, I don’t act. It’s always easier if you have a good actor and you don’t have to act yourself. And if I act, I would always prefer that I had a director whom I can trust. And in case I am doing both, I have people assisting me whom I can trust as a director. But I prefer not to act.”
Fawad has previously directed several plays, including Badal Sarkar’s Janab-i-Wala Marr Chuke Hain, Raagni, based on Death and the Maiden and Chhe Kirdar Aik Musannif Ki Talash Mein, an adaptation of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author.
He has high hopes for this one: “I am hoping that people will enjoy it and have a lot of fun because it’s a comedy with which they can relate to and, I hope nobody gets offended.”
The cast includes Farhan Alam, Zakiullah Khan, Mahvash Faruqi, Hasan Raza, Asma Mundrawala, Erum Bashir, Kaleem Ghory, Hammad Siddiq, Muzaina Malik, Faraz Saad, Danish Ahmed and Danish Akber. The one-and-a-half hour play starts at 8pm today and will be staged till September 20.
The tickets, priced at Rs1000 each and Rs500 for students, will be available at NAPA, T2F and Alliance Francaise.