Residents of the twin cities thronged the Pakistan National Council of the Arts auditorium on Tuesday to enjoy a series of comedy skits that addressed the plight of an ordinary Pakistani.
The play, “Khawaja Aa Jaa”, covered a varied spectrum of problems in the country, such as inflation, corruption, loadshedding and violence. However, the plot revolved around the most common social behaviour --- playing the blame game and reluctance to take responsibility for one’s own actions.
Instead of being deeply premeditated, the performance was impromptu, gaining comedic momentum through the actors’ wit and timings.
One of the skits depicted how various characters’ inability to own up to their actions snowballed and led everyone, innocent and guilty, to face the consequences.
Other portrayals of unfairness in the society, such as the hard work of women that goes unnoticed, were also improvised by actors.
“If we had to do [women’s] work, we would probably start crying like infants,” said one of the male characters.
The play’s title is based upon its director and lead actor, Masood Khawaja, a renowned television actor and comedian. Other cast members included Saeed Anwar, Imtiaz Ali Kashif, Aslam Mughal, Lubna Shahzadi and Saba Mughal.
Khawaja told The Express Tribune that he appreciated such form of comedy as it nurtures the spirit of theatre, spontaneity and surprise. “Actors and the script need to be constantly evolving for a truly enjoyable comedy play,” he said.
Commenting on the concept behind the play, he said, “There are several problems in our society and comedy is the most effective way to portray them and make a difference as its not stressful. There is no better feeling than making an audience laugh.”
Actors Hassan Abbas, Saeed Anwar and Afzal Latifi also paid tribute to Khawaja, the iconic comedian, saying that it was an honour to work with the legend side by side.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2012.
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