Actors perform in the play “Run For Your Wife” at the Islamabad Club on Saturday. PHOTOS: MUHAMMAD JAVAID

ISLAMABAD: Ray Cooney is no stranger to international theatre. Best known as a farce playwright, Cooney’s work has been enacted in Pakistan time and again. “It Runs in the Family”, “Caught in the Net”, “Funny Money”, “Tom, Dick and Harry” are some of his most popular productions that have given him the title of “The English Feydeau”, after the French farce playwright Georges Feydeau.

Currently being played at the Islamabad Club, Usman Qazi’s production of “Run For Your Wife” had the audience enthralled. With its high energy and fast paced action, farce is one of the most difficult branches of theatre to successfully put together. However, Qazi’s production was entertaining despite the glitches.

The fast-paced plot rolled with sexual innuendos and elaborate chase scenes, while the deliberate absurdity kept the audience on the end of their seats, itching for more.

Most of the actors were able to culminate to the task of taking on their roles and becoming their characters, but a few lagged behind. Fendi Khan, with his over the top facial expressions and fantastic tonal variation attempted to push the boundaries of his character and played with different emotions to achieve his objective.

On the other hand, Sundus Tariq failed to realise her own character and was more caught up in her accent to concentrate on her acting. With hardly any variation in the pace of her performance, she was unable to really embody the essence of her character.

Omar Saleem, Ajlala Khan and Zahid Ahmed gave fantastic performances. The chemistry between the cast was evident.

The simple and pertinent set was a pleasure to see and the colour coordination matched those of the characters inhabiting the space. As a director, it is a difficult task to ensure that the entire space of the set is used, but Qazi saw to it that the action did not remain horizontal and ventured to explore various nooks and crannies of the area, helping the audience move along with the action.

Even though there were a few lines fumbled and some punch lines missed, the production overall was a pleasure to see and entertained the audience. The piercing laughter resonating through the auditorium stood as a testament to the performance’s success.

The next stop for the production is Karachi, where it will attempt to woo the audience with its magic in March.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2011.


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