KARACHI: Tanveer Abbas has been around for over three decades, but his most memorable performance on stage is his recent role of Painda in Beech Bahar ki Raat ka Sapna.
Abbas is known to be a serious person but his recent comedic performance in Napa’s stage play has won him approval. Abbas plays Painda in Beech Bahar ki Raat ka Sapna adapted from Nick Bottoms character in A Midsummer Nights Dream. The character is humorous and guarantees the audience an entertaining night filled with laughter.
Previously, it was impossible for one to make a living through theatre in Pakistan, but when talking to The Express Tribune, Abbas said “Since Napa came along things have certainly changed for the better. I believe kitchen needs can be met, if not luxuriously than at least realistically.” Additionally, Abbas believes that Napa offers something more valuable than money, he says that “Napa offers continuity and creativity, and this is what I believe is worth the effort and hard work we put in.”
Besides acting, Abbas works set design as well. He is constantly busy designing remarkable sets for Napa plays and shows, as well as for Napa Convocations. Abbas has not received any professional training in set design and is self-taught. To date he has designed sets for 10 plays and has even designed the set for Moulin Rouge which is currently being performed at the Arts Council.
While Beech Bahar ki Raat ka Sapna was being performed, Abbas would play the role of Painda in the evening and during the day he would work on designing the sets for the third Napa Convocation ceremony. When asked how he gets into character and if he has any advice to share with fresh actors, Abbas stated that “One can neither wear the character nor can one fear the character.
What one needs to do is understand the psyche of a character and then outperform oneself. Observation is important as it will help one to understand the character that one intends to act out.” There is still a stigma attached to entering theatre and acting in Pakistan. Abbas believes that the reason behind this is that “The market is still very small, for example in Hyderabad there is hardly a cinema and the theater has had no influence as yet.
There is less demand and hence, theatre has not developed. The audience needs to learn the difference between good and bad theatre and I believe in Karachi alone we require 20 years of hard work to develop the theatre to a satisfactory level.”