Thursday Jun 23 2022

Houseful: Urdu adaptation of Romeo and Juliet takes Karachiites by storm

Magnificent theatre artist and living legend Zia Mohyeddin has given Karachiites a treat with his latest direction of Shakespeare's popular tragedy — Romeo and Juliet.

It is an Urdu adaptation for the masses translated by Khalid Ahmed — a versatile actor, director, and head of the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) theatre department. He has also translated King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream. The play is being exhibited in NAPA since June 17 and runs till June 26.

It's been a full house from day one because of the magic of the extravagant theatre artists, scene-to-scene set changes and recreation of the 15th Century drawing inspiration from classic Italian styles for the costumes and the dramatic lighting.

The play included a lot of poems with similes, metaphors, and symbolism. Khalid Ahmed uses similes and metaphors that connect with Pakistan's poetic tradition.

The play's cast adored the theatre directing skills of Mohyeddin, sharing how thrilled they were to be working under his guidance.  

"I enjoy working with Zia Mohyeddin as every script is unique and every time there is something new to learn. From contemporary to classic, he has different styles of directing plays," said Samhan Ghazi, who played Friar Lawrence.

According to a faculty member, Fawad Khan, who played Mercutio in the play, Mohyeddin demands hard work and has a professional attitude.

Juliet was played by Naureen Gullwani. She studied theatre acting at Napa and has performed in several commercial plays. "I could connect to Juliet in depths as I could relate to her. 

As a team, we have rehearsed several times to prepare. I rehearsed with Ali Sher who plays Romeo to make it natural and organic while keeping the essence of classical delivery, which is the forte of Shakespeare's plays," she shared.