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Shabana, Farooque enthral theatre lovers in Pakistan

Islamabad, February 21
After Bollywood and music, Indian theatre is now enthralling Pakistan with a play featuring Shabana Azmi and Farooque Shaikh staged before packed audiences and receiving rave reviews.

By staging ‘Tumhari Amrita’, the 90-minute play inspired by A.R. Gurney’s ‘Love Letters’ in Karachi yesterday, the organisers aim to raise funds to create a Citizen’s Foundation that would construct schools in areas hit by the recent earthquake. They are planning to hold one more show each in Karachi and Islamabad.

‘Shabana, Farooque Enthral Audience’, headlined ‘Dawn’ while ‘Daily Times’ featured said ‘From India with Love,’ about the play, performed first in India in 1992 and adapted for theatre by Javed Siddiqui.

Shabana credited the Indo-Pak peace process for enabling her group to stage the play in Pakistan.

“I would like to dwell a little bit on the fact that here is an Indian group that is coming forward and doing something to raise funds for earthquake victims that will go to people in Pakistan,” she said.

“Apart from the money that will be raised, the symbolic gesture to me is very, very significant because for a long time now, people have been saying that we need to strengthen people-to-people contact because its people who must dictate to the government and if government policy can be influenced by the fact that people really want to build bridges,” she said.

In its write-up about the play, ‘Daily Times’ said “Tumhari Amrita” is a stunning example of theatre without the theatrics; the two characters work with a set that has only two tables and except for the magic of the spoken word, very little supplements the action. — PTI


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