“Behroopia is an attempt to highlight that institutions should not be discredited just because some individuals are corrupt,” said Hira Farrukh, director of the musical play, on Monday.
Farrukh, a student at the Beachonhouse National University, said the play represented her directorial debut. She said it showed how some individuals can bring a bad name to an institution or the entire system. The play is an adaptation of Daria Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist. It is being staged at the Alhamra Hall No2 and will run till July 27.
The first act opens at a police station, with a havaldaar interrogating a behroopia (impersonator). Behroopia, played by Shah Fahad, is a cunning man who switches between various personas flawlessly and without compromising on humour. Fahad said though he had been associated with stage for some time but had never been in a Punjabi play. Behroopia, he said, was a dream come true for him.
The humour and the animated gestures of the performers held the audience’s attention throughout the play.
Producer Noman Khan is also a student at BNU. He said due to some problems early on the project had seemed unrealistic. He was happy and relieved that they had pulled it off in the end with teamwork.
Co-producer Ahmed Khan, an architecture student at BNU, said at the moment only universities offering liberal arts curricula were providing enough room and encouraging students to experiment with innovative ideas.
The dance performances and Punjabi puns in the play was particularly appreciated by the audience. Khan said he had made it a point to add puns to the script considering how easily Lahoris could associate with these. “Punjabi theatre is nothing without double-entendres,” he said.
Zain Afzal who played Inspector Butt was also the art director for the play. “Inspector Butt is an honest policeman. However, he has an obsession with food,” he said.
“The play was amazing. More such events should be organised to make the cultural scene,” said Ali, a BNU student.
Zaeem Yaqoob, the BNU Marketing and External Relations director, said universities needed to promote such events so that the youth gets more avenues and ways to express themselves. He said students should be allowed to express their talents without fear of being harassed or censured.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2011.
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