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March 14, 2019

Bringing Shakespeare to the young generation


March 14, 2019

Decades may go by, decades may turn into centuries but the lure of Shakespeare will be as fresh even as centuries go by.

Shakespeare could weave plots and come up with situations which, even though complicated often, brought to the fore the realities of life and the mysteries that make life complete. One such play was staged at the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) on Tuesday.

Titled Mureed-e-Shak, it is Agha Hashr’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘The winter’s tale’, most adroitly directed by internationally acclaimed film personality Zia Mohyuddin.

As the story goes, a king has paranoid fears about his wife having had a fling with his friend, also a king, and casts off his newly-born daughter being a victim of his fear about the daughter being the illegitimate offspring of his friend. Left in the wilderness, the girl is brought up in the home of a shepherd. As the years go by, she grows up and falls in love with the son of her father’s erstwhile friend. A series of events occur over the intervening years till, after a passage of 16 years, all’s well that ends well, and Husna, it turns out, is well and alive and has been preserved.

In Shakespear’s original play, she is the equivalent of Hermoine. All the cast members performed their roles really adroitly. However, Husna’s role as the wronged wife’s was really profound. She really put life into her role. So was Safia Zaheer Ali as Hameeda Bano Shamaila Taj as Husna did a wonderful job too. However, the person most deserving of credit is none other than the world-famous screen personality Zia Mohyuddin. His adroit direction really made the production worth watching.

A legend in his lifetime, Zia has made many memorable stage appearances in London and New York in classical and contemporary works. In the early 70s, he presented the Zia Mohyuddin show over the Pakistan Television. He has acted in numerous stage plays in England. Mureed-e-Shak marked the opening of Napa’s three-week stage play and music festival which ends on March 31.

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