LAHORE: Ajoka Theatre’s new play ‘Uddan Haaray,’ written and directed by Shahid Nadeem, is set to premiere at the National History Museum on Saturday – 18 March.
The play was developed from personal testimonies collected and archived by The Citizens Archive of Pakistan. The play will be premiered at the museum’s open-air arena in Greater Iqbal Park, on the site where Pakistan Resolution was passed.
‘Uddan Haaray’ revisits the wounds and traumas of the events from 75 years ago and promotes the ideals of peace and humanism. The play reveals the untold stories of partition which took place in a princely state of East Punjab and led to the infamous massacre.
The story of young Akhlaq and his friend Haleema is interwoven with the enduring love of two pigeons, Raja and Rani. It is not just a tale of hate and violence but also of noble human values of hope, peace and humanity.
‘Uddan Haaray’ reveals untold stories of partition which took place in East Punjab and led to infamous massacre
About the play, Shahid Nadeem said that Ajoka has dedicated this play to those brave survivors who fought for national freedom and those who fell victim during the struggle. He praised the Citizens Archive for collaborating with Ajoka for such a meaningful project.
The play, like most Ajoka plays, includes enchanting songs and dance and will keep the audience engaged, despite its grim subject. The title ‘Uddan Haaray’ is taken from the great Sufi poet, Hazrat Sultan Bahu’s famous verse – ‘need not clap your hands to startle us, we are ready to fly anyway.’
The cast of the play includes Ajoka veterans Naseem Abbas, Sarfraz Ansari, Usman Zia, Qaiser Khan, Rabil Butt, Fizza Jamal, Razia Malik, Anish Khan, Yusra Irfan, Nyla Imtiaz, Umar Bhatti, Shahzad Sadiq, Fizza Tirmizi, Nasir Mehmood, Kanwal Khan, Samawia Zaman, Azka Latif, Husnain, Nauman and Mian Meesam. Dancers include Luke Calvin, Samawia, Meesam, Nauman, Imran, and Nadeem.
Sohail Warraich has assisted director Shahid Nadeem in the production. Set and lights design is by Nadeem Mir while Kanwal Khan and Asad Yousaf have managed the costumes and production. The play features powerful poetry of sufi saint Sultan Bahu, extracts from Kabootar Nama by Rais Miyaan Qawal and some situational songs by Shahid Nadeem.
Singers include Naseem Abbas, Sarfraz Ansari, Anika Malik, Kanwal Christopher and Thomas Yousaf. Tickets for performance on the 18th March at the National History Museum can be purchased online. After the premiere, ‘Uddan Haaray’ will have two exclusive performances at Alhamra Hall on 20 and 21 March respectively for the general public.