Everyone sits spellbound. No one stirs. The hilarious jokes simply keep on pouring in until the play reaches the points that make one wonder and wonder about life and even oneself.
This is what Laakhoun Mein Teen has done to the audiences of Lahore. After thirteen successful performances in Karachi, earlier this year, the play is finally wowing the Lahorites. And how.
With very low expectations, due to the dearth of good theatre in our country, I perched myself silently in the middle of Hall II at Alhamra, The Mall, Thursday night. The show opened and what a joy it was!
With three mentally unstable individuals out to rob a bank, the play simply flowed. The comedy of errors had some brilliantly hilarious jokes that made the people inside the hall laugh.
But when the play touched points of seriousness, the audience went along. It is at these points that the play puts forward questions that haunt you even after you have left the hall. Questions like should not be a rapist in a mental asylum than the victim of rape make you wonder.
However, the main question that the play raises is a very simple one: are we not all mad in a mad, mad world? And, whose definition of ‘madness’ are we really following?
After posing the question, the characters soon bring the audiences back to a laughing spree.
The dialogues were fresh, and the acting simply brilliant. The acting of Shafaqat Khan as Hashim, Amir as the forgetful Jatin (though surely his acting was not so forgetful!), and Usman Zia as Baba Jee simply stole the show.
In a comedy of errors, timing is of pivotal importance. In Laakhoun Mein Teen, the timing of every actor was immaculate. Only once did I feel a cue was missed, when Suleman Sunny and Yar Baloch have to bump into each other.
The play is not merely a laugh riot but also raises legitimate questions that need to be answered. But the common man tends to be too insensitive to these issues because these mostly do not impact him directly. From religious discrimination to molestation of a child, the play keeps on bringing forward such problems that plague us all.
When asked as to what was his inspiration behind writing the play, writer-director Faheem Azam simply said, “I derive inspiration from a lot of things.
“I’m happier when people face the mirror,” he added, while talking to TNS after the curtain call.
About the message he wanted to convey to the audience, Azam said, “We are all hiding behind masks. These mad people have a routine, they have nothing to hide and, to be honest, they are more normal than all of us.”
All in all, the play was a fantastic effort. I hope such ventures shall continue to happen in our country because they not only give us hope of the revival of theatre but also make us think.