The theatre-crazed Lahorites were treated to a musical feast, as Date Night, an amateur production, opened at Alhamra, the Mall last week.
The “musical comedy” — as it was described on its Facebook page — was directed by Shaan and Dawar Lashari, while it was adapted from a script by British playwright and actor Derek Benfield.
Date Night proved to be a play sprinkled with a very English sense of humour that sometimes also betrayed the wit of Wilde. Yes, it was loaded with adult jokes, funny punch lines, besides surprising situations where everything is going wrong, and of course, random outbursts of dance acts.
The play is set in a Victorian boutique hotel somewhere in the suburbs of England. The story revolves around two couples that embark on a holiday to get away from city life and have fun. But fun it proves to be for the audience, as circumstances take unexpected turns for the characters on stage.
The Lasharis have been associated with theatre productions such as Boeing Boeing (2009), which was a laugh riot. This one is no different.
First day’s performance was a full house, with mostly teenagers and families showing up. From well-choreographed dances put together by the actors, to the performances in general, the set design, and lighting, Date Night was a success.
Ferris, played by Shaan Lashari, becomes a vehicle for a comedic show of errors; his dialogue delivery helping him big time. Consider the way, he utters, “Drip, drip, drip…” It prompted huge laughs.
There were times when the play’s pace slowed but it never lost the comic zest. As the wife of Roger, TV and theatre actress Meherbano’s Helen proved to be the life of the play. Nobody could wink while watching her perform; the young lady successfully acquitted herself as the flirtatious Helen, the way she moves about in her “blue” room and is always up to something. Her vulnerabilities, her hyper-active nature, and her chocolate cravings add funny nuances to the play.
Along comes Sally, played by Sana Jafri, another upcoming theatre actress. The wife of Geoff, Sally’s love for champagne gets her some hilarious comebacks from the other characters. Her own jokes border on the risqué. After Helen, it is her character that is the most powerful.
The other two important characters of Roger and Geoff — played by Waleed Zaidi and Shah Fahad respectively — had the audiences in splits by virtue of their comic timing. Mrs Smith, a cameo part, was enacted well by Janan Mir.
All in all, Date Night was a musical satire on the way modern-day couples are. Throughout the play, the audiences are left to anticipate something funny, and they aren’t disappointed.