Centre stage: Nirvaan Nadeem, new kid on the block

Published: October 16, 2016
Nirvaan’s parents are founding members of Ajoka Theatre. PHOTO: FILE

Nirvaan’s parents are founding members of Ajoka Theatre. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: It seems like the love for theatre runs in the family. Nirvaan Nadeem, son of Ajoka Theatre’s beloved founders Madeeha Gohar and Shahid Nadeem, will soon be launching his career as a director, with his debut play Talismati Tota being staged at Lahore’s Alhamra Hall on October 18 and 19.

Fortunately, Nirvaan is no stranger to performing arts. He has already participated in a number of Ajoka’s plays and television shows and also acquired a Master’s degree in film-making from Beaconhouse National University. Prior to that, he had studied the craft at National College of Arts. Now, the jack of all trades is simply expanding his horizons, hoping to continue the legacy his mother has built for her acting troupe.

“Theatre is not an easy pitch for everyone as it brings no money or popularity like films or TV does. It is a place just for those who enjoy plays wholeheartedly,” Nirvaan told The Express Tribune. “But it’s our collective vision to do something creative and constructive. Theatre, in Pakistan, is facing many issues right now but despite that, Ajoka Theatre has been doing quite well and even representing our country on an international level. It has truly made it an honour for one to be associated with local theatre.”

Nirvaan credited the troupe’s success to his mother, claiming that she has struggled a lot, especially on account of being a woman in the field. “She has truly proved her mettle, I must say. Similarly, my father has also done his best by highlighting different social issues through his writings. In fact, Talismati Tota has also been written by him,” he shared.

According to Nirvaan, the play has been written in the traditional style of a daastan and follows the story of three princes and a princess in disguise, who embark on a journey through a forest in search of a magical parrot. As per the princes’ visions, the parrot can fulfill all of their wishes. “Talismati Tota is a journey full of adventure and supernatural creatures, thugs, magicians, fairies, demons and witches,” said the director. “It involves betrayal, intrigue and mind control. The protagonists do manage to locate the parrot but end up falling prey to its crafty ways too.”

With this, Nirvaan hopes to make his audience realise that no specific group or person can solve one’s problems – they must work to overcome them. “I believe the play reflects many of our social concerns and it is for adults and children alike.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2016.

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