Anwar Maqsood’s Pawnay 14 August on hold
‘A half-cooked play would have been a grave injustice to the legacy of Anwar Maqsood’ says Dawar Mehmood as he informs the scribe of the decision to postpone Pawnay 14 August that was supposed to begin today at the Arts Council. The last-minute development came after discussions among the Kopykats team and it was decided that the play will now be staged from 9th April, instead of 12th March.
For those who don’t know the background, Anwar Maqsood’s Pawnay 14 August which was to go on floors today has been postponed for a month. The first reaction that comes to mind is that why would a play, that has been staged on multiple occasions, be postponed in the first place. “That’s because it is not the same play people saw two years back’, Dawar Mehmood, the director of Pawnay 14 August clarifies. ‘In the newer version, everything except for the founders – Maulana Shaukat Ali, Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam – has been changed. Yasir (Hussain) and Mariam (Saleem) are playing as many as four roles simultaneously; there are new scenes about Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s life before he became Quaid-e-Azam and a lot more.’
Does that mean that the World Tour is off? ‘No way … we would be staging the play in Dubai on 20th and 21st March as planned but that wouldn’t be the changed Pawnay 14 August as for that we need time. The world tour is very much on and ticket details can be found on Facebook,’ Dawar announces, ‘It is only that we have changed the original play so much that we wanted to be perfect before the premiere, and since I wasn’t satisfied in the rehearsals, we concluded that postponement would be the best solution.’
The director apologizes to all those looking forward to the play, especially the ones who bought tickets to the play. ‘In a day or two, we will announce the details of the refund process but I would like you to hang onto the tickets since we are coming back and for those who have the old tickets (March 12th onwards), we will give you one ticket free as compensation. I would like to apologize to the fans for it is due to our ineptness that the play got delayed, but let me tell you, the new version would be worth the wait.’
The play gets delayed, the tickets might be refunded and more rehearsals are surely in the offing … wouldn’t it have been better had the play opened on schedule because when Anwar Maqsood is writing, people are bound to laugh. ‘A half-cooked play wouldn’t have done justice to the legacy of Anwar sahib. Theatre is my first love and since I didn’t want to stage Pawnay 14 August for money, we decided to bear the losses. It would have been heartbreaking had someone commented after the play that the old Pawnay 14 August was much better. I urge the audience to-be to wait, they will not be disappointed.’
Omair Alavi works for Geo TV and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org