‘Pawnay 14 August’ to return with all new cast
Karachi: Anwar Maqsood’s play ‘Pawnay 14 August’ will be staged all over again from March 12 with a different director and a new cast, announced Maqsood during a press conference at the Arts Council on Tuesday.
The play takes a profound, thought-provoking look at the genesis of Pakistan. It pivots around three main characters: Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Maulana Shaukat Ali.
Maqsood said that when the play was staged earlier, conditions, even though serious, were not as alarming as today.
Nawaz Sharif’s election promises, he said, were being fulfilled only to the extent where his kith and kin would benefit, with least regard to the masses, an obvious allusion to the government’s privatisation programme and selling off of vital national assets. His moves are just not focused on benefiting the country, he added.
“Conditions have changed since when the play was first staged. The Taliban, though causing lots of destruction even at the time, were not a factor as pernicious and ubiquitous as they are today. The Taliban will also figure in the latest version of the play, which will be directed by Dawar Mahmood.”
Maqsood said that before the elections, virtually the country’s entire youth were solidly backing Imran Khan. “Now his backing is confined just to the Pathans. Economic conditions were not as bad as they are today, with the common man reduced to the abyss of privations. Bigotry and religious extremism are proceeding at a galloping pace; hence, the need for a rerun.”
Dawar Mahmood, the prospective director, said the play would also be staged in the US, the UK, Norway and Singapore. This, he said, was on the demand of the Pakistani residents there.
Arts Council President Ahmed Shah, while heartily lauding the latest venture, said Pakistanis overseas harboured the feeling that Pakistan’s culture was not being duly projected abroad. The foreign tour of this play, he said, would go a long way in dispelling that image.