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LAHORE: Thirteen-day (Aug 30-Sep 11) Alhamra Theatre Festival kicked off at the Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, here on Thursday.

At the start of the festival, instead the customary curtain raising of the first play, speeches were delivered by different guests.

Lahore Arts Council Board of Governors chairman and actor Tauqeer Nasir who was the first to address the audience, said the LAC would stage one quality play every month at Alhmara to revive the golden era of classic plays.

Poet Amjad Islam Amjad said it was a pleasant coincidence that the inaugural play of the festival – Kafan – was an adaptation of a story by Munshi Prem Chund who also happened to be the first Urdu short story writer.

Naeem Tahir who spoke after the play said the Mass Foundation, that produced the play should continue with such productions. He also lauded the council’s initiative of holding the festival.

Kafan was directed by Amir Nawaz, the moving spirit behind the Mass Foundation Theatre. The play started some 45 minutes late that its scheduled time of 7pm because of late arrival of Mr Tauqir Nasir and the guests speeches.

The play that had already been staged at the National Theatre Festival, Islamabad, organised by the Pakistan National Council of Arts, had an experimental set, good lighting and fine acting. It was also staged at the Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, back in 2016.

The director, Amir Nawaz, told this reporter that most of the actors performing in the play were associated with the Mass Foundation Theatre for the last three decades.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018