Comedians at a joint news conference held at the Lahore Press Club on Thursday demanded that the government open commercial theatre on Friday ( today) as all markets and shopping malls have been opened.

Naseem Vicki said every business had been opened in the country and commercial theatres should also be allowed to resume work. Why artistes were being neglected at this crucial time, he asked. “We don’t want any aid or help but we just want that theatres should be allowed to open now,” he said.

Amanat Chan said all markets had been opened and there was no reason the stage artistes were denied the opportunity to work.

Iftikhar Thakur said people had become psychological patients due to prolonged lockdown and comedians could play an effective role in relieving pressure and help people relax. He demanded that theatres and cinemas should be opened now.

Theater Action Committee chairman Qaiser Sanaullah said, “our Eid was spoiled by closure of the commercial theatres and the government should now give immediate orders to reopen the commercial theatre business.” Theatres all over Punjab should be opened on Friday ( today).

The comedians said they would follow the SOPs and there should be no more delay in reopening of the theatres.

Originally published in Dawn, May 29th, 2020