Three-day Madeeha festival starts at Alhamra

Published September 28, 2018
A SCENE from play Kala Meda Bhes at Alhamra. — White Star
A SCENE from play Kala Meda Bhes at Alhamra. — White Star

LAHORE: A three-day Madeeha Gauhar Theatre Festival opened at Alhamra Art Centre on Thursday. The festival is in the memory of founding figure of the Ajoka Theatre.

The festival also featured the opening of exhibition ‘Madeeha’s Retrospect’ that highlights Madeeha’s life and works. The exhibition, inaugurated by veteran journalist Hussain Naqi, showcased unique and memorable photographs of the late Madeeha depicting her four decade long journey.

The exhibition also featured some photographs of Indian artistes, especially of Manchrang Manch theatre people with their signatures they sent to Madeeha. The exhibition featured traditional music instrument, press clippings, and pictorial profiles of theatrical plays she directed for Ajoka. Photographs capturing her school and college, and family life were on display. Pictures from the Punjabi Academy, New Delhi, could be seen at the exhibition.

The exhibition opened amidst bhangra to the loud drum beats by Ajoka artistes. It was a well attended exhibition where Prof Sajida Vandal, Fauzia Afzal Khan, Khawar Mumtaz, Prof Shaista Sirajjudin and Prof Rukhsana David were also present.

A short documentary highlighting the life and works of Madeeha was screened. Ajoka’s Executive Director Shahid Mehmood Nadeem welcomed the audience and said the festival was dedicated to a brilliant artiste who leaves behind a rich legacy of socially meaningful theatre. Nadeem said that Gauhar directed and produced 50 plays.

Famous flute player Akmal Qadri paid rich tributes to Madeeha Gauhar by his soulful performance. The inaugural play of the festival, was ‘Kala Meda Bhes’, while on Friday ‘Lo Phir Basant Aye’ will be staged.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2018

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