LAHORE, May 4: Popular TV artiste from Karachi Shakeel is in Lahore to perform a solo performance at theatre, a trend in performing arts rarely seen in Pakistan.

‘Us Gali Na Jawin’, an Urdu play with a Punjabi title written and directed by Sarmad Sehbhai, is being organised by the Lahore Arts Council. The play will be staged at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, for three days from April 6. Shakeel has acted the performance in 2011 in Islamabad, organised by the Pakistan National Council of Arts.

Shakeel, known for his memorable roles in television plays like Uncle Urfi , Unkahi and Angan Thera, will be a big attraction for his fans in Lahore.

Though Shakeel is restaging the play after a year, he has returned to theatre after 25 years. He started his career from Radio before going to theatre and film and finally television.

When asked what made him act in the play for a second time, Shakeel said at the first place solo performances were something rare in Pakistan; secondly, the script of the play was so powerful and gripping that he would love to do that again and again.

“Three cheers for Sarmad for writing such as masterpiece,” he said.

He said the PNCA had started a series to pay tribute to legends. When the council approached Shakeel in 2011 and he went through the script by Sarmad, he decided to act in the play.

To a question had theatre in Pakistan come of age, the artiste said the medium in Pakistan was still nascent as it had been ignored.

‘Us Gali Na Jawin’ is a serious and experimental play. Shakeel says the Islamabad audience liked the performance and the same response he expects from the Lahore crowd too. He said the Lahore audience was the mature one as Lahore was the hub of
cultural activities.

About the theatre scene in Karachi, he said theatre in Karachi had become enriching as besides plays in Urdu, a number of English plays were also being staged there. Shabnam and Robin Ghosh are expected to see the play.


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