Monday February 06, 2023

Ajoka presents reading of play Porus, the Great

By Our Correspondent
February 22, 2021

Lahore:The Ajoka Theatre enthralled its on-ground and online audience with a gripping reading of its new play “Porus, the Great” on Saturday.

The performance was held in Ajoka’s open performance space which was also live streamed on Facebook. The play is based on the 17th Century French Playwright Jean Racine’s play. The impact of the dramatic rendering by Ajoka’s talented actors was enhanced by powerful live music.

The event started with an introduction by Shahid Nadeem who edited and directed the performance. He said throughout history Alexander the Great was presented as the undefeated conqueror and victor of the Battle of Hydespus (Jhelum) in 327 BC but based on new research and historical evidence, it is now being contended that, in fact, Alexander met his nemesis in ancient Punjab in the shape of its popular and heroic ruler Raja Porus.

Alexander could not defeat Porus and agreed on a truce. His army mutinied and he was forced to return to Greece but died on the way due to the wounds he had suffered in Punjab. The play started with a documentary on the great battle of Hydespus and the reading of the letters Alexander and Porus wrote to each other. The play included Raja Porus (played by Usman Raj), his rival Raja Ambhi (Zubair Sajid), Maharani Akshyana (Aisha Khan), Rani Clophila (Anum Jalil) and Hipvestian (Usma Zia) and Alexander (Umar Bhatti).

The play ended with an enactment of the account of the battle between Alexander and Porus as narrated in poet Firdowsi’s great Persian epic “Shahnama”. The music was given by Sunil and Thomas while the lights were designed by Nadeem Mir. Asad Bhatti and Kanwal Christopher managed the production.