KARACHI: Shah Sharabeel’s latest production is an adaptation of the Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge which is currently being staged at the Arts Council in Karachi.
He tells The Express Tribune what the future holds for him. Shah Sharabeel’s reputation precedes him - he is often described as being brash. When Sharabeel is asked about this he breaks out into a broad smile and says, “I believe the reason is pure jealousy. I am a little too disciplined and that is probably what people don’t like about me.”
In 2005, Sharabeel brought The Phantom of the Opera to Karachi. And now five years later he has brought Moulin Rouge to the Karachi stage. But the musical is a strenuous effort. “Moulin Rouge runs in Karachi for 22 days altogether, as compared to other plays that are staged for shorter duration. Phantom of the Opera ran at the FTC for 12 days.” For this play, Sharabeel’s team comprised actors from Karachi, ranging from 15 to 25 years in age. Only two members of the cast live in Islamabad. He was full of praise for his new cast.
“I am happy with the people that I am working with in Karachi. Often it happens that the cast is creating some sort of trouble and you end up firing someone from the play altogether. But this one (Moulin Rouge) did not trouble me at all. In fact there is a feel-good factor about it. They are all lovely kids.” Moulin Rouge comes to a close on Sunday and after this Sharabeel plans to take a year off from work.
He has a number of interesting things planned for that time including taking a culinary course. Sharabeel has also been selected by the American Embassy in Islamabad to take a nine-month theatre course in the US. But Sharabeel does not plan to remain away from the stage for too long, and will be back in Karachi next year with a production of Bombay Dreams.