LAHORE: Veteran artist Khalid Abbas Dar will make a comeback to the stage world after a gap of some 30 or so years at Alhamra by introducing theatre meant for families.

Mr Dar is an actor of great substance; he is a playwright, director, producer, entertainer, mimic, one-man show and a television host in Pakistan.

In a career spanning over six decades or so, he has established himself as one of the foremost entertainers in the Indian Subcontinent. He is a recipient of the Pride of Performance Award (1999), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (2007) and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (2013).

Mr Dar told Dawn the initial outline of the theatre has been finalised and further discussions are ongoing with the authorities to stage plays which would be enjoyed by families. He said it had been over 60 years that he had been associated with stage and theatre, nevertheless, he laments to see the current situation of theatre.

Vows to revive family theatre

“The theatre I’m going to stage at Alhamra will have no commercial elements; it will be a theatre the people used to enjoy when the theatre was objective and socially relevant,” said Mr Dar, adding that dare bare dances, vulgarity and disgrace of women in theatre in different characters have blown away the real essence of theatre.

He said there was a need to revisit theatre and make it an entertainment sprinkled with decency and message orientation.

“I had this plan of commencing theatre for a long time. Perhaps it’s time now to tailor it into practical terms as people are wary of seeing lowbrow commercial theatre,” he added.

Dar said as the history of theatre in Lahore is rich and commendable, so why not voice the issues of people through theatre, the strongest and most difficult medium when it comes to performing art. He hoped that he would get a hall at Alhamra for performances.

“My association with Alhamra has spanned over many decades. I was among the founders of this place. It is high time to put people back on the track of theatre which should have some sense and value”.

Mr Dar is affectionately called Abba Jee in the showbiz circle.

Published in Dawn,May 10th, 2022

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