LAHORE: Maas Foundation will stage its musical play, Book of Love, at the 8th Colombo International Theatre Festival in Sri Lanka on Aug 4.

Maas Foundation earlier performed this play at the 2nd Tamasha Festival in April, said Aamir Nawaz, the director of the play and president of Maas Foundation.

He said the Colombo festival will be organised by Inter Act Art Theatre, Sri Lanka after completing their seven successful editions since 2012. Maas Foundation was the first Pakistani theatre company to be selected for the first edition of the festival and it has been invited again to perform this year.

The theatre group has been invited by the Pakistani high commissioner in Sri Lanka, who would also be the chief guest at the festival.

More than 15 theatre companies from world over, including the US, Germany, India, Sweden, Switzerland, Iran, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, are scheduled to perform at the festival.

Book of Love is a non-verbal take on the classic boy-meets-girl tale. It showcases a couple’s journey of love, family and parenthood through a child’s perspective.

Five-year-old Ali once found himself alone at home. On a book shelf, he finds a book, called Book of Love, and starts reading it. In each section of the book, he finds an interesting event happing in the life of a couple -- their meetings, dates, engagement, marriage, honeymoon etc.

At the end, he finds that this story is so much like that of his own parents’ whose love had disappeared from their lives.

Hassan Raza has conceptualised the play and it has been directed and light designed by Aamir Nawaz. The background score has been delivered and played by Imran Nawaz Mani, while Gulshan Majeed has choreographed it. The cast includes Gulshan Majeed, Eshah Shakeel and Hassan Raza.

The director, Nawaz, says it’s not easy to portray a story on stage without dialogue, especially in the subcontinent where script-based theatre is considered practical and acceptable.

“I take it as a challenge, as in the story of Book of Love there were a lot of scenes which we were going to stage so technically and aesthetically it was really hard.

We had rehearsed for two months to put everything together. And finally when we did it in Lahore in January and then at the 2nd Tamasha Festival this year.”

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2019