Lahore (Qasim Ali)
Ajoka‘s Madeeha Gauhar Theatre Festival opened with a thumping start on Thursday 25 May at Alhamra, Lahore with Shahid Nadeem’s acclaimed play “Mera Rang Day Basanti Chola”. The play, which is a powerful tribute to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, was preceded by Nirvaan Nadeem’s documentary “Becoming Bhagat Singh.
The play, originally directed by Madeeha Gauhar, linked the execution of Bhagat Singh in 1931 in Lahore Central Jail and the murder of Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan in 1974. It included songs specially written at the time, to pay tribute to Bhagat Singh. The cast included Sibte Hassan, Naseem Abbas, Qaiser Khan, Shehzad Sadiq, Umar Bhatti, Razia Malik, Usman Chaudhry, Usman Zia and Bilal Mughal. Singers included Khawar , Kanwal, Anita, Thomas and Asad .
A delegation of Indian theatre personalities is attending the three-day festival. They include:
Dr. Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, Kewal Dhaliwal , Arvinder Singh Chamak , Kabir Singh Chowdhry and Sajan Singh.
Indian director Kewal Dhaliwal appreciated the inspiring performance by the actors.
Earlier festival’s Director Shahid Nadeem said that the festival was dedicated to theatre icon Madeeha Gauhar and the themes of “Sacrifice, Separation, “Suffering” related to the 75th anniversary of independence and partition.
Two more historical plays will be presented on the following days. A special tribute to Madeeha Gauhar will be held on 27 May in which prominent speakers will talk about Madeeha’s cherished ideal of theatre of peace.
The festival is being held at Alhamra and is supported by Lahore Arts Council, Punjab Council of Arts and Babar Ali Foundation. FM 103 and FM 95 are radio partners.