LAHORE: The Home Department of Punjab Government is planning strict monitoring of Lahore’s theatre industry in a bid to eradicate vulgarity and thereby, revive the fledgling industry. The institution hopes to ban all performances by female stage actors that feature impropriety. Artists using unethical or profane dialogues will also be refrained from performing during Eid.

The Home Department is currently examining the theatre circuit while engaging with local administrations to monitor Eid shows held across the province. All stage producers are now required to have their scripts approved at least a week before Eid. The government and Home Department will also be monitoring the Eid performances and theatre artists will have to get their shows permitted by rehearsing in front of the monitoring teams.

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The department is responsible for maintaining law and order, ethics and a peaceful environment within Punjab’s commercial theatre industry. Therefore, it is preparing a code of conduct for all those involved to follow. According to sources, it is tightening rules and policies after receiving numerous complaints regarding the vulgarity content being put out.

The source revealed to The Express Tribune that concerned authorities are doing all that they can to better the theatre industry. “For the last six months, we have put in a lot of effort to maintain a good environment within the industry. We have even banned a number of stage artists for vulgar performances, such as Nargis, Mahnoor and Saima Khan among others.”

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They continued, “During this Eid period, we are establishing a proper monitoring system whereby teams will be engaging with the local government and also involving senior artists to regulate the performances. Our purpose is to provide a healthy entertainment hub to the public this Eid.”

The source further confirmed that a letter will be issued to all theatres across the region, notifying them of the changes taking place.

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It is important to mention here that Punjab’s theatre industry is currently in crisis and has been suffering for many years due to vulgarity scripts and performances. The plays are not family-friendly and so, footfall has been limited.

Before this, no action has been taken to rectify the situation as theatre is a very big source of entertainment for the local population. However, the Home Department is now taking the correct steps to make a difference.

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Senior stage artists have appreciated these efforts as according to them, it was high time something was done. “We really needed a crackdown against the vulgarity because we would like to see families at theatres,” said director Goshi Khan. “It is our culture and we are thus supporting the government in this regard. However, such monitoring teams have been set up in the past but provided no results. Let’s hope that this time, they live up to our expectations.”

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Khan added, “Besides this, it is our demand that tickets for the shows taking place this Eid are controlled and I would like to request the government to take the necessary steps for that.”

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