The 24th Alhamra Theatre Festival by the Lahore Arts Council (Jan 31and Feb 6) kicked off at the Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall with the drama, Junoon, by the Aks Theatre on Monday.
Alhamra was illuminated with multi-coloured lights. A good number of audiences attended the inaugural day of the festival. The council had a strict policy regarding the Covid standard operating procedures and there entry to the hall without masks was banned.
People from different walks of life watched the play in the Hall II of the centre had mostly families had attended the festival on the opening day. The entry is free.
The Aks Theatre, which performed its play Junoon, is a parallel theatre group from Lahore and it has already performed at Alhamra during different theatre festivals. Junoon, a one-act play, had a unique love story, written and directed by Afzal Nabi. The story was centred on Covid-19, showing two old couples besides other characters.
Afzal Nabi, the playwright, performed the main role of Jamshed Khan. His acting was marvellous and the dialogue delivery was spontaneous. The set had a dark background. The cast included Afzal Nabi, Safira Rajput, Zaheer Taj, Mohammad Azam, Nida Munir, Kiran Manir, Rai Ali, Raza, and Mohammad Nizam.
Nabi said the story of the play showed how a childless couple’s life changed after the Covid-19. The husband was imprisoned at home while the wife died in the hospital. He said he was grateful to Alhamra as the council had given an opportunity to the actors to show their skills.
LAC Executive Director Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi welcomed the audience and thanked them for following the Covid SOPs.
“Alhamra’s prime goal is to provide quality entertainment to the people of Lahore. We hope that our public would make the theater festival a huge success,” he added.
All the dramas in the festival would be staged at Hall 2 at 6pm.
On Tuesday (today), the play, titled Dastaan Hazrat-i-Insan, by Ghayyur Theatre & Arif Amin Dramatic will be performed.
Originally published in Dawn, February 1st, 2022