Paying tribute: NAPA to stage Kamal Ahmed Rizvi’s ‘Khoya Hua Admi’

NAPA to stage ‘Khoya Hua Admi’ in memory of late writer, actor

Our Correspondent March 01, 2016
Rizvi passed away in Karachi on December 17, 2015. PHOTO: FILE


The past few weeks have been very tough for Pakistan’s literary circles. Several stalwarts such as Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, Fatima Surraiya Bajiya and Intezar Hussain have passed away. But although these legends have left us, their legacy remains eternal, in the form of their writings. As a tribute to Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) will stage its latest production Khoya Hua Admi, which will be directed by veteran stage and television actor Khalid Ahmad.

Featuring an ensemble cast of Fawad Khan, Aimen Tariq, Ovais Mangalwala, Asiya Alam, Shumaila Taj and Zarqa Naz, the play is expected to begin its run on March 4. Reiterating how it was important to preserve the work of his fellow artistes, Napa faculty member Arshad Mahmood said, “If we don’t honour our own tribesman then it is hard to think that anybody else would.”

Actor, playwright Kamal Ahmed Rizvi passes away

The play will mark NAPA Repertory Theatre (NRT) actor, Khalid Ahmad’s return to direction for stage after a while.  Elaborating upon the project, the director explained that while Rizvi may have set the play against the backdrop of Karachi in the 80s, it still holds relevance today. “This may be a story of the 80s but it holds true even today, given how there is still a lack of infrastructure and the crime rate is high,” stated Ahmad. But despite this morbid, dark and gloomy description, the veteran director is quick to point out that the play would not be without Rizvi’s trademark humour.

Khoya Hua Admi follows the story of a middle-class couple, Danish and Bano, living a peaceful life in Clifton Heights apartment. Tragedy strikes when Danish loses his job and their house gets robbed. The couple go through a lean patch but, rather than giving up, weather the storm hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel.

For a story that constantly shifts between humor and drama, the real test for the actors would be to do justice to the characters created by Rizvi. Lead actor Khan, for instance, already has his work cut out since he would be playing a role that the Alif Noon creator already made famous on television. Responding to whether he felt an added sense of pressure filling Rizvi’s boots, Khan said that his focus was not on delivering a performance similar to that of his predecessor. “We have tried to deliver a performance in the same manner in which we have understood the text,” he said.

Unlike Napa plays of the past, Khoya Hua Admi will not be performed during the weekends and will instead have a continuous run stretching to March 13. The play will then be succeeded by the NAPA International Theatre Festival with another play paying tribute to later literary icon Intizar Hussain.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2016.

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