There was a time when Lahore’s theaters were a bustling attraction for the city’s burgeoning population. Apart from the numerous indigenous productions, international plays like ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Bombay Dreams’ were put up with much fanfare, raking in good money for the organizers.
With growing security concerns and an audience that was increasingly scared of venturing out into public spaces, Lahore suddenly wasn’t a place for the Arts anymore. Everyone was more concerned for their lives than for the next play they wanted to be entertained by.
Every once in a while someone does enact some interesting performances, giving us all hope that the city’s culture still lives on through theater.
Indeed, there is no dearth of the talented. Recently at Alhamra Cultural Complex on the Mall Road, Lahore, one such play was put up to allow the audience to escape into an another world and revel in merriment. Written by British playwright Ray Cooney, ‘Out Of Order’ is a farcical comedy that was directed by Waleed Zaidi and produced by B Theatre Co.
The play consisted of veteran actors including the likes of Ali Tahir and Ian Eldred.
And an experienced production staff, but most of all it had passionate individuals who took a break from their ongoing jobs and work to compile a first rate performance.
The comedy features a cocky junior minister in the U.K. who has to lie his way out of an embarrassing situation(a planned adultery with a secretary) with the assistance of his personal private secretary, who gets more and more embroiled in the increasingly tangled tale improvised by the lead character as events unfold. The action takes place in a suite in a posh London hotel.
Unlike common perception that British humor is far too sophisticated for our desi palettes, the play not only managed to keep the audience engaged…
it also generated generous laughter, even a bit of hooting at the extremely funny bits. Foregoing minor production issues, the entertaining performances were ridiculously funny and charming. Particularly the characters of George Pidgen(played by Ian Eldred), Ronnie Worthington(played by Hashim Imran) and Roberto Ceasar(played by Shah Fahad) were a delight to watch. The performance was complimented by the whole array of supporting cast who were as much engaging and absolutely able in their positions.
Good news for those outside of Lahore
the play is travelling to Islamabad in February and Karachi in March so if you didn’t get a chance to see this in Lahore and if you’re in any of these cities be sure to look out for Out Of Order, it’ll be worth it.
Just like a good Chef likes to feed people with good food, an actor performs to mesmerize you. Without the audience, there is no performance and quite frankly without arts we make for a pretty boring bunch. So go out and support your country’s arts and culture and have fun doing it!