Hats off to “Kis Ki Topi Kis Ke Sar?”
The play is yet another example of Pakistan’s potential in the field of arts and wit distinctive of the Urdu language.
‘Kis Ki Topi Kis Ke Sar?’ is a rib-tickling comedy that will leave you aching with laughter. Staged at the Arts Council Karachi, at Rs1000 per seat, playing from October 1st till the 13th, this play is a must watch. Moreover, it is supporting a phenomenal organisation known as the Special Olympics, to which all the proceeds go to.
Directed by the renowned actress Sarwat Gilani and co-directed by NAPA alumni Zeeshan Haider, the play is yet another example of Pakistan’s potential in the field of arts and wit, distinctive of the Urdu language.
Written by Babar Jamal, the man who gave us the hit ‘Khel Jari Hai’ in 2010, the story line is a nonstop two hour roller-coaster ride – one which is easy to follow. The plot begins with unemployed Junaid Shahi (Saqib Sumeer) having claimed, and receiving, multiple fraudulent benefits from the Government’s Income Support Programme, a fact which is unknown to his wife.
When a government officer arrives to verify a claim, Junaid leans on his tenant Tanveer (Nazrul Hasan) for help and the mayhem begins. The play keeps you gripped till the very end. The vast genre of comedy is subject to individual taste, yet appeals to all sorts of audiences watching the play by striking the ideal balance between psychical and verbal humour. Every dialogue and action is punctuated with the audience’s laughter.
The farcical duo Sumeer and Hasan own the stage with their performance. Although at times slightly excessive, their acting is nonetheless consistent. Not once does Sumeer’s limp disappear when it shouldn’t and always appears when it should. Hasan’s performance is remarkably reminiscent of the comic Indian actor Rajpal Yadav.
Their boisterousness set against the believable simpleton officer Munir, played by Bilal Yousufzai, and the archetypal complaining and suspicious Pakistani wife, well played by Amtul Baweja, sparks laughter every time. The cast no doubt fill their characters well; from Hunain Maniar putting on the appropriate accent as a grave digger to Muhammad Hassan Raza’s powdered hair (playing Mamoo), the attention to details is evident.
With one fixed set of a neatly furnished drawing room, ‘Kis Ki Topi Kis Ke Sar?’ manages to do a lot with very little. The centre piece is a diagonally placed sofa around which most of the action mainly tends to revolve, carefully positioned to be visible to all irrespective of centre or side seating. Assortments decorating the stage space, paintings, carpets, vases, are suitable for illustrating the intended middle class household.
The multiple doors and windows on this set make the mayhem possible, keeping the ridiculous situations which arise as real as possible. The limited use of light and costumes does not take away from this play, rather compliments it. Costumes are clearly designed with the characters in mind. Shabana Hassan donning a waistcoat in addition to her shalwar kameez and dupatta illustrates her stringent character that Mamoo leaps to flirt with, causing laughter once again. The dialogues, costumes, set and actions are clearly in sync.
Thus the verdict is very simple. Don’t wonder ‘Kis Ki Topi Kis Ke Sar?’, go watch it!
All photos by Mawish Moulvi