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Ajoka’s latest production satirises political system

Ajoka’s latest production satirises political system

LAHORE: Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall was brimming on Wednesday night with Ajoka Theatre’s loyal audience who were there for premiere of the group’s latest play, Kaun Banay Ga Badshah.

A political satire that came down hard on the political system, corruption and nepotism, the play was written and directed by Shahid Mehmood Nadeem. Several new faces in the world of theatre were introduced through this play.

Before the play started, Nadeem while addressing the audience said Kaun Banay Ga Badshahwas a political satire depicting a system dotted with many vices.

The two-hour play was produced as a game show conducted by a mysterious host with contestants from the ruling elite. The play was full of satirical songs and dances but with a strong social message similar to the ones Ajoka’s plays are popular for.

The cast included Nayab Faiza, Usman Raj, Omar Dar, Ahsan Murad, Sohail Tariq, Qaiser Ali, Yaqub Masih, Aamir Sahotra and Shehzad Sadiq.

Synopsis of the play suggested ‘Who will be the king?’ was the name of an ancient game the rules of which had changed overtime. Kaun Bane Ga Badshahwas hosted by ‘big boss’, a mysterious and mischievous host, assisted by a well-mannered and well-spoken assistant called Nizam. Four young contestants from various ruling clans were being trained and tested and the winner was to wear the coveted crown. Parents of the contestants actively supported their children through fair and unfair means but the game got tough and scary when there was unexpected interference from the apparently half-dead spectators. Ghulamzada rebelled and the ‘big boss’ had to step in. This game show raised some pertinent questions about the future and nature of democracy in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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