The play ‘Us Gali Na Jawin’ received a standing ovation

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LAHORE: Veteran TV, film and stage artiste Shakeel mesmerised the audience with a moving solo performance at the Alhamra Art Center, The Mall on Sunday.

Playing a gloomy old man in rags, Shakeel received a standing ovation from the audience. The play ‘Us Gali Na Jawin’ was written and directed by literary icon Sarmad Sehbai.

The script was symbolic; it was experimental and abstract. The play opened with Shakeel standing in rags and feeding birds. Every day he passionately feeds them sharing with them his emotions, his feelings by talking to them. The script he uttered during his performance was emblematic.

It refers to the situation of the country and debates about where the youth are going. It also talks about the good old days when people used to love each other and monetary gains were hardly a priority. It refers to terrorism, the fears we are confronted with. The script had short reflections of what was going around us.

Shakeel through his wonderful performance made the audience glue to their seats, with the tragic ending note leaving many eyes tearful.

The audience gave a standing ovation to the actor and aptly tagged the performance a classic one. The recorded music pieces were well adjusted with various dramatic situations. The set was simple but impressive.

Although Shakeel restaged the play after one year (it was earlier staged in Islamabad in 2011), on the whole he had returned to theatre after 25 years.
Solo performances are rare in Pakistan when it comes to theatre but Shakeel’s performance was matchless.

A documentary based on achievements of Shakeel was screened after the play in which clips of his different TV and film performances were shown.
Lahore Arts Council’s Board of Governors chairman Attaul Haq Qasmi and Secretary Culture Mohyuddin Wani presented bouquets to the artiste.

TV anchor, actress and fashion model Ayesha Sana conducted the show. She said Shakeel, the recipient of Pride of Performance and Lifetime Achievement award by the president of Pakistan, was among the iconic figures in Pakistani’s showbiz world.

The play will be staged also on May 7 and 8.

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