The National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) will hold its second laughter festival from Thursday (Jan 10). The event featuring comedy plays and stand-up acts will conclude on Jan 20. This was announced at a press conference on the academy’s premises on Friday evening.
Speaking to the media, artistic director of the Napa Repertory Theatre Zain Ahmed said the academy started doing festivals in 2012. The first edition had six plays. As time went by, the event expanded and turned into an international one. It was followed by a young directors’ festival along with an event meant for children. Last year in January, the academy held its first laughter fest.
Mr Ahmed said like the previous year, the event will have six plays, five of which have been prepared by Napa graduates, and the sixth is in collaboration with an Italian director. Apart from that there are standup comedy shows. Such programmes have been happening at different venues, so given the fact that the city had been through tough times, anything that can make people laugh should be appreciated. Standup comedy has an added element of audience interaction.
Then, Mr Ahmed said, there is the dastangoi segment. It is part of Napa’s outreach programme that commenced in 2017. The programme entails not just storytelling but students are also taught how to write a story.
The plays in the festival contain subjects that vary from political satire to farce to romance, which lends a variety to the effort, he added.
The laughter fest will kick off with a play titled Haey Muhabbat directed by Uzma Sabeen. It will be staged the next day as well. Penned by Babar Jamal, there are four characters in the story, which Napa’s actors Samhan Ghazi, Zarqa Naz, Shumaila Taj and Hammad Khan will essay. A dastangoi piece and commedia dell’arte directed by Marco Luly from Italy will follow Haey Muhabbat on Jan 12.
Aar Paar will be performed for two days (Jan 15 and 16). Directed by Rauf Afridi, it’s an adaptation of Philip King’s See How They Run. Another drama Ghanchakkar is slated to be put up on Jan 17 and 18. Directed by S.M. Jameel, it’s a farce about mistaken identities.
The event will end on Jan 20 with Socho Tau Sahi, a standup act by Usman Mazhar and a play Jungle Mein Mangal Bazaar directed by Meesam Naqvi.
Originally published in Dawn, January 5th, 2019