LAHORE: Alhamra Theatre Festival is all set to begin tomorrow (August 30, 2018) at the Alhamra Arts Centre located on Mall Road, Lahore. The festival will run for 13 days in which theatre groups from all around the country will participate.

The two-week festival will feature 15 stage performances by renowned theatre groups including Ajoka Theatre, Mass Foundation, Azad Theatre, The Curtain Raiser Production, Salamat Foundation,  Orange Media Production, Aks Theatre Production, Sirimiri Production and Chota Mota Theatre, among others.

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Besides professional theatre groups, famous arts teams from various universities, such as Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Punjab University (PU) and National College of Arts (NCA), will also be performing. Organisers and artists are expecting a good footfall at the shows.

Cultural carnival to be held at PNCA  

Although Lahore is known as the hub of cultural activity, it has been deprived of any such event for the past few months, due to the numerous issues at the Punjab Arts Council and the Alhamra Arts Council.

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Instead of promoting Pakistani entertainment and culture, the institutions have been busy dealing with political issues. Problems regarding finances and the appointment of officers arose. Certain groups within Alhamra Arts Council were unhappy with the designation of TV artist Touqeer Nasir as chairman at Alhamra, causing them to object. They believe Nasir is not fit to run the organisation and so, they are demanding the appointment of new officers.

The council previously decided to produce its own plays for the revival of constructive theatre. It also sent suggestions to the Punjab government. The purpose of this was to boost the confidence of families towards the concept of theatre and cultural activities. The administration unit suggested lower ticket prices so families were able to watch the plays more frequently, thereby increasing sales.

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They are now looking forward to the commencement of cultural activities through Alhamra Theatre Festival. Theatre enthusiasts are ecstatic for a new performance every day.

As per schedule, there are many special acts lined up, starting with Mass Foundation’s playKafan on August 30 and Gumrah, organised by the team from LUMS on August 31.

September 1 will see Jan Muhammad BA Gold Medalist by Sangat Theatre Production from Quetta, as well as Ye Shara Aam Nahin performed by Sirimir Production.

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Chota Mota Theatre Production will present Bol Ke Lab Azad on September 2, with Aks Theater Production staging their play Baajh on the same day.

Ajoka Theatre will put up their production on September 8, titled Mara Huwa Kutta. The festival will end on September 11, with Azad Theatre’s Akhiyaan.

Special arrangements at Alhamra Arts Council have been made for the festival with theatre groups running promotional campaigns on social media sites to attract potential audiences.

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Edited by Ramsha Vistro