Western love saga hits stage with a Punjabi twist

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sagaKARACHI: Everyone knows about Romeo and Juliet, a classic love saga of the west and everyone also knows about Heer and Ranjha, a classic love story belonging to Punjab’s soil.

What people did not know was the fact that the lovelorn couples of the two classic love stories would share centre stage. This was done by a young writer, Aamir Qureshi, in his latest play ‘Ranjha & Juliet’, which was KB Thespians Presentation’s third production.

The story ‘Ranjha & Juliet’ is a romantic drama which has its roots deep in both eastern and western literature; the sharp, witty and quick paced dialogue is interspaced with every thing from flashbacks to commercials to music and dance.

The play is a comedy with the theme that love is still alive even in this modern day and age, though it may have changed its form.

The story starts with a bet between the cupid and the devil over whether or not a love story from the past will still unfold the same way today as it did back in its day. Romeo and Juliet are brought back to life and the story starts out just fine, however, the devil seeing things going against him brings Heer and Ranjha into the story and arranges for Juliet to meet Ranjha instead of Romeo who meets Heer instead of Juliet.

The chaos continues, with the cupid and devil’s meddling making everything progressively worse. With a rich and diverse tapestry of characters which stretch from Atil Aslam to Altaf Raja to the drunkard Qaido, the story weaves itself around many twists before it reaches the end and with the help of dancers, models and commercials, creates a theatrical experience that will not be forgotten soon.

Qureshi is a talented young actor and writer who calls himself a freelance media professional as it gives him the freedom to practice all his creative abilities.

“I have chosen to direct this play with a bare minimum of props and no set, I believe that the nature of the script demands this treatment,” said Abdul Aleem Shekhani, who is the director of the play.

He went on to say, “We have attempted to create characters that are true to the figures that they are based on, while the playwright has modified these characters, for example Romeo is no longer a 16-year-old and Heer has an MBA from LUMS, so the characters are evolved beings, they are what we feel the characters would be like in this day and age.” farhan zafar



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