Thespianz Theatre, in a celebration of its 10 years, presented the English comedy play Marriage Carriage at the PACC recently. The play revolves around a family comprising a father Mr Chowdry and his daughter Nadia who give a lot of importance to the English language.
Mr Chowdry faces an unexpected situation as his neighbour Jamil, whom he has known for years, asks for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Things take an unexpected turn when they argue and start fighting with each other. Set in a typical modern day setup, the play becomes delightful with songs and dances adding to the complex situations.
Marriage Carriage focuses on the double standards that our society has set for itself
The fun adds on when other acquaintances of Mr Chowdry make it to his doorstep with proposals for Nadia. The quest for the best man leads to a condition where the suitor will be picked on the basis of how good he is in English, and this leads to all kinds of humorous situations.
Mr Chowdry’s colleague Sajjan, who already has three wives, is kicked out after he speaks bad English. He is followed by Malak Nisar and then Anwar Baloch Sheedi who dances on stage and is joined by Sher Khan as his rival. All four belong to different provinces and want to marry Nadia. Sajjan returns only to have his three wives follow him, carrying knives and screaming, leading to utter chaos.
The suitors make a statement, while facing the audience, that English is given far too much importance in Pakistan. If one knows it well, he will be accepted by society and also land a good job. But Mr Chowdry and his daughter Nadia insist that she will only marry one who knows English well, and they both give the suitors a few months to learn it properly
Eventually, the four suitors make a statement, while facing the audience, that English is given far too much importance in Pakistan. If one knows it well, he will be accepted by society and also land a good job. But Mr Chowdry and Nadia insist that she will only marry one who knows English well, and they both give the suitors a few months to learn it properly. Marriage Carriage ends on this note.
The enjoyable play needed work on its use of proper English and pronunciation. Furthermore, the abrupt ending was jarring and not conclusive. Written by Faraz Zubair and directed by Faisal Malik, the play focused on double standards that our society has set for itself. It also hit out at the low standard of education in the four provinces of Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, April 24th, 2016