Heer Ranjha staged amid cheers and laughter
By Anjum Gill
LAHORE: Originally written as an epic tale of love, Heer was a tragedy-turned-comedy in the presentation by Scarsdale International’s students at the 4th Youth Theatre Festival at the Alhamra Cultural Complex on Monday.
“This is Scarsdale International’s version of Heer,” a senior journalist commented, for though the play was presented in the original story line, an adaptation from Heer Waris Shah, yet in many instances even serious scenes received laughter. ““But keeping in mind the background of the students, it was a good effort. The costumes were beautiful. I liked the background music, which was taken from the Punjabi film Heer Ranjha and the original Heer sung in a traditional manner.”
The performance lacked rehearsal, particularly on the stage they were to perform on. “We did a rehearsal on the stage only this morning and rehearsals were held for a fortnight only,” said Shafia Bhatti, an Urdu teacher at Scarsdale. “Most of our students come from England, America and Canada and they cannot even speak Urdu properly.”
The basic strength was the costumes and the script, which along with direction and production was done by Ms Bhatti. The audience also appreciated the narration of the love story by Ayesha Ahsan, also a teacher at Scarsdale. “This is my first time narrating a story in the background,” she said.
At the curtain call ‘Qaido’ played by Ahmed Hassan and Ranjha played by Faizan Khawaja received the most cheerful applause. The cast was the largest seen in the plays staged so far in the festival.
The cast included Sana Ali playing Heer, Nadia Gulraiz, Umar Aftab, Fatima Sheikh, Suleman Akbar, Aruj Bajwa, Amna Riaz, Umar Azam, Feroz Khan, Samar Khan, Zahra Qazilbash, Qandeel, Maha, Sara, Arham, Ahmed Qadeer, Sultan Tiwana, Tayyab Ali, Paeiman, Shehryar, Bilal, Taha Mir, Hassan Ali, Zara Saeed and Nilofer.
When the passionate Ranjha has a fallout with his family, he leaves his home and vows to wed the lovely Heer. As soon as he sets eyes on her, he falls head over heels and becomes her servant. Her uncle Qaido finds ways to expose Heer to her parents and they arrange her marriage to someone else. But as their marriage is decided, the ecstatic couple has absolutely no idea about their sad fates.
Monday saw the largest audience so far, and one of the most cheerful too. Today’s performances include Khawab by University of Engineering and Technonlogy (UET) at 7.30pm at Hall-1 and Main Tara Tara Jagoon Teray Naam by Forman Christian College (FC College) at the Open Air Theatre at 6pm.