Eminent writer Anwar Maqsood is these days busy writing a play titled Naya Pakistan which will be put up on stage on Aug 14. This was announced by the writer himself at a press conference at the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi on Tuesday afternoon.
Giving the background to his ongoing play Naach Na Jaane, Mr Maqsood said Dawar Mehmood (director of the project) and Ahmed Shah (president of the council) came to him and requested him to write a drama whose proceeds would go to a charitable cause: an endowment fund for artists –– the stage, TV and film artists who have gone off the (showbiz) radar and leading a financially challenged life.
Mr Maqsood said for the same reason, that is, the endowment fund, he’s writing another play which will focus on the phrase ‘naya Pakistan’. The central character will be a thailey-wallah (street vendor) who is trying to sell the old Pakistan in the new one. Characters such as Allama Iqbal will appear looking for their place in the fresh setup. The writer objected to the word 'naya', arguing this line of thinking should be revisited.
Speaking about Naach Na Jaane, Mr Maqsood said the production has had a great response. The general public has been queuing up to see the play. Consequently, its run has been extended to a few weeks, and it will probably run up until the holy month of Ramazan.
The director of Naach Na Jaane, who also helms Naya Pakistan, said the unprecedented success of the project has encouraged the team to take it internationally. Therefore soon it will travel to the UAE, South Africa and the UK.
Earlier, president of the Arts Council Ahmed Shah lauded the play, calling it a “phenomenal success”.
After the press conference, a scene from Naach Na Jaane was shown to the media. It was a sequence in which Akbar (Yassir Hussein) is seen arguing with Jahan Ara (Sara Bhatti) over Akbar eating the kebabs in a sneaky manner. Then Mahboob Ahmed (Abdullah Farhat) and Chaudhry Sahib (Asad Gujjar) enter the stage for a light banter.
Originally published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2019