Eminent playwright Anwar Maqsood’s play Saadhay 14 August directed by Dawar Mehmood will be staged at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, after Eidul Fitr for a two-month run in the city.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Maqsood said in 2011 he wrote Poonay 14 August. “Someone asked me what does that mean, why not 14 August? I replied I’m waiting for 14 August. Whenever 14 August will come [in the true sense] I will do a play with that title… Three years later I wrote Sawa 14 August. Everyone thought that now, after Imran Khan came to power, I would write 14 August.”
Giving details of the subject, Mr Maqsood said, “In the play a man files a case against Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Gandhi as to who is responsible for the decline of a huge state such as India — three countries were made out of it. Then they’re asked to go to four cities to find out who’s responsible. They cities are: Kashmir, Lahore, Delhi and London. So the play is divided into four parts. First the Quaid and Gandhi go to Kashmir, then Lahore, Delhi and London.”
The writer told the media that his effort can be seen after Eid at the council, adding his heart tells him that the play will be liked by the audiences.
Producer of the play Salman Hussain and director Mehmood also spoke. Arts Council president Ahmed Shah told the media due to the situation arising out of the pandemic, entertainment activities such as the screening of films and staging of plays were put on hold. So once things looked favourable again, it was not becoming that a small-time production be put up — it merited a big event. “We are very excited for it. It’ll happen immediately after Eid. The drama will run in Karachi for two months. After that it will travel to Islamabad and Lahore,” he said.
Mr Mehmood thanked the council’s president Ahmed Shah for playing his part in the revival, and being the biggest supporter, of theatre.
Originally published in Dawn, February 17th, 2022