Lahore (Qasim Ali)
Ajoka Theatre’s new play “ Uddan Haaray “ is set to premiere at the National History Museum on Saturday 18 March. The play has been written and directed by Shahid Nadeem and was developed from personal testimonies collected and archived by The Citizens Archive of Pakistan. The play will be premiered at the National History Museum’s open-air arena in Greater Iqbal Park, on the site where Pakistan Resolution was passed. The play revisits the wounds and traumas of the events from 75 years ago and promotes the ideals of peace and humanism. The play reveals the untold stories of partition which took place in a princely state of East Punjab and led to the infamous massacre. The story of young Akhlaq and his friend Haleema is interwoven with the enduring love of two pigeons, Raja and Rani. It is not just a tale of hate and violence but also of noble human values of hope, peace and humanity. Shahid Nadeem said that Ajoka has dedicated this play to those brave survivors who fought for our freedom and those who fell victim during the struggle. He praised the CAP for collaborating with Ajoka for such a meaningful project. The play, like most Ajoka plays, includes enchanting songs and dance and will keep the audience engaged, despite its grim subject. The title “Uddan Haaray” is taken from the great Sufi poet, Hazrat Sultan Bahu’s famous verse: تاڑی مار اؐڈا نہ باھو اساں آپے اؐڈن ہارے،ھو (need not clap your hands to startle us, We are ready to fly anyway) The cast of the play includes Ajoka veterans Naseem Abbas, Sarfraz Ansari , Usman Zia, Qaiser Khan, along with Rabil Butt , Fizza Jamal, Razia Malik, Anish Khan, Yusra Irfan, Nyle Imtiaz, Umar Bhatti , Shahzad Sadiq , Fizza Tirmizi, Nasir Mehmood, Kanwal Khan, Samawia Zaman, Azka Latif, Husnain, Nauman and Mian Meesam. Dancers include Luke Calvin, Samawia, Meesam, Nauman, Imran, and Nadeem. The play is written & directed by Shahid Nadeem whereas Sohail Warraich has assisted him in the production. Set and Lights Design is by Nadeem Mir while Kanwal Khan and Asad Yousaf have managed the costumes and production. The play features powerful poetry of sufi saint Sultan Bahu, Extracts from “Kabootar Nama” by Rais Miyaan Qawal and some situational songs wrote by Shahid Nadeem. Singers include Naseem Abbas, Sarfraz Ansari , Anika Malik, Kanwal Christopher and Thomas Yousaf. Tickets for performance on the 18th March at National History Museum can be purchased through Bookme.pk. After the premiere on 18th March, “Uddan Haaray” will have two exclusive performances at Alhamra Hall 2 on 20 & 21 March respectively for the general public, free of charge.