LAHORE: Lahore’s commercial theatre circuit – in a bid to profit from the hype around the Pakistan Super League (PSL) – has introduced a stage play based on the ongoing cricket tournament. Titled Lahore Qalander Saray Dil Ander, the play depicts the journey of PSL team Lahore Qalanders through PSL 2018.
While the streets of Lahore prepare for the upcoming PSL semi-finals on March 20 and March 21, and fans battle each other out for tickets, stage artists are sure cashing in on the cricket fever.
The first performance of Lahore Qalander Saray Dil Ander was held at Tamaseel Theatre last week and was closely followed by another play called Aur Wicket Gir Gai, staged at Al-Falah Theatre. Both productions managed to receive a positive response from the audience.
The play shows a team of women defeating the Lahore Qalanders, which highlights the faults within the latter’s management. Lahore Qalander Saray Dil Ander has been directed and written by none other than Naseem Vicky and its stellar cast includes Nasir Chinyoti, Tahir Anjum, Gulfam, Razi Khan, Taufique Shah, Sobia Khan, Mehak Noor, Sara Khan, Nigar Chaudhry, Nisha Bhatti and many others.
“It is a stage actors’ duty to entertain the public but they also need to highlight mistakes. Our theatre industry has a history of doing social services and putting the spotlight on social evils within our society,” Vicky told The Express Tribune. “I have no doubt that the role of theatre is an important one. Thus, at a time when the whole nation is watching cricket, enjoying PSL’s success and the players’ achievements, we thought it best to organise such a play.”
Vicky, who happens to be amongst the biggest stars of Lahore theatre, went on to talk about the public’s response to the play. “We just have a different way of celebrating their success. We are happy to have chosen this topic and are overjoyed with the response we got from the public. We have already had numerous full houses!”
According to the director, Lahore Qalander Saray Dil Ander is “pure entertainment with a spin of positive criticism.” He said, “I personally believe that the script and dialogues are very good due to which, not only our usual fans, but families have also been coming to watch this play.”
Bhatti also added her two cents, saying, “Lahore Qalander Saray Dil Ander is full of entertainment and we are enjoying it a lot. But this does not mean that we are happy with the failure of Lahore Qalanders as it was our team in this PSL.”
She continued, “I think that Pakistani youth is very talented. The message we are trying to portray through the play is that through the struggles, we can do anything and everything.”
Speaking of the play’s success, Bhatti added, “In the beginning, tickets sold out very quickly and the theatre would be completely full. Because of this, Lahore Qalander Saray Dil Ander has been extended to run through next week too and those who will travel to Lahore for the semi-finals will have a chance to watch it too.”
“Many of the songs and dances have also been prepared with the true spirit of cricket. It has been a long time since I had the chance to work in such a constructive play,” concluded the actor.
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