Iqra University Annual Play

Last week I had the chance to attend a play by the Drama students of Iqra University, North campus. And honestly, I was blown away!

My uncle who also happens to be the Dean of one of the departments in Iqra university asked me to take my kids to attend the play. Honestly, in the beginning, I was a bit skeptical about whether I should go or not and if the language would be child-appropriate. And all I knew about the play was that its an Urdu adaptation of an English play.

And because many years back I had attended a play in the Arts Council, which had left me disappointed.

But since my uncle said that I will like it and usually when he does give assurance about certain things he is then right most of the time.

So together with my parents and my two boys, we went to Iqra University at 7 in the night.

It was a Saturday and the weather was chilly. I was prepped with warm clothes and snacks since I was told that it’s going to be in the open.

I must admit that the campus of Iqra University in North Karachi is quite stunning. Hidden between two graveyards one doesn’t expect such a magnificent campus to exist there.

Anyways walking towards the location of the play I was quite impressed with the open auditorium in the campus.

The timing for the beginning of the show was 7:30 and it did start around 7:45. There were really not many people, mostly the audience was the students of the university and their staff.

So before the play, the director briefed us about it and told us that the students had been working very hard for the entire semester and this is like their final exam. This fact did instill some affection for the students and I made up my mind that even if I find the play boring I will not walk out.

Then the play started, with two characters on stage discussing the upcoming charity function at the local university. In just the first few minutes of watching these young actors perform and deliver dialogues I was hooked and I knew it this is going to be some good entertainment.

The play was for 2 hours but never in those two hours did I feel that it’s getting boring, in fact every scene every dialogue was so timely delivered and so eloquently said that I was captivated with their performance.

The best part was that it was in Urdu and the students’ Urdu accent was commendable, something of the sort of Angan terha dramas where its fun and witty and poetic.

But the biggest surprise to me was that even my 6-year-old boy and my 10-year-old boy enjoyed so much. They sat there for two hours without even asking once “When will we go home” although at times I did feel the Urdu was a bit advanced, it never failed in connecting with the audience even be it, children.

My elder one was so into it that he was actually anticipating what’s going to happen next and was cheering, smiling, getting anxious along with the play.

This is what he has to say, “I went to watch a play in NAPA, and I think this play was much better. The people in NAPA didn’t do that good acting but the play in this university I liked a lot because it was funny, there was comedy, action, drama etc. and their expressions were so good and even how they spoke they spoke appropriately like when Mrs. Chaudhry drank the fainting potion she acted as if she had really fainted. It felt as if I’m in the moment. I liked this play way more than the one in NAPA.”

This is just about my children. Even my parents who are in the Senior citizen category they enjoyed the play.

So basically what these aspiring young actors did was commendable.

They connected with every age group from a senior citizen to an adult to even a 6-year-old child and I think this is exactly what good theatre does.

And all these students delivered their lines so well, with expressions and acting. I couldn’t even notice any bloopers even if there where I’m sure they covered it up very smartly.

Even their costumes and makeup were laudable.

The reason why I’m writing these words of praise is that theatre is such an important medium of arts, information, and entertainment which has been neglected for so long. And this is why theatre actors are considered to be bigger actors than screen actors.

I mean they are the ones who are not given retakes and edits and lighting, etc. Everything that they have, is just the stage and them and the moment.

I am really hoping that these young and talented actors get a chance to perform this play “Aapki Tareef” again and in front of a bigger audience.

Once again I would like to compliment all the actors for such a phenomenal performance and I am looking forward to many more plays by them.

Well done!