Punjab folk theatre fest concludes
LAHORE: The eight-day Punjab Folk Theatre Festival organised by Punjab Council of Arts concluded on Wednesday at the Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah.
The play staged on the last day of the festival was Sakhi Badsha, a production by Faridi Theatre, Bahawalpur.
Written by Ghulam Rasool Hasrat and directed by Ishaq Faridi, the play highlighted various social issues. The story revolved around a cruel merchant who did not believe in charity and used to flog beggars if they came to his place for alms. His wife, however, was a kind hearted woman who would do charitable work. The merchant finally lost all his wealth and himself became a beggar.
Faridi Theatre, established before partition of India, is perhaps the only theatre that still prefers men for female roles.
Ishaq Faridi, the director of the play, told Dawn he could not find serious actresses willing to memorise and recite long poems written in Seraiki dialect.
“We extensively use Seraiki poetry in our plays and it becomes difficult to memorise for most actresses who are more interested in light roles and dance items.” He said the boys who performed female roles had been associated with the theatre for years and now they could recite the kalam of various Sufi poets fluently.
The play had a mix of Urdu, Punjabi and Seraiki languages. Mr Faridi appealed to the government that it should patronise folk theatre, otherwise the genre might become extinct.