When Anwar Maqsood first wrote for theatre in 2012, he gave it the uplift it desperately needed. And now that he has returned after three years with Kyon Nikala, the stage has received another shot in the arm.
Chaudhry sahib (Sajid Hasan) is a veteran politician who is in demand because his party, the Pakistan Muslim League isn’t. Others try to lure him to their camp but he refuses to believe that anyone else could become prime minister other than Nawaz Sharif. His cook, Mujeeb (Mohsin Ejaz), tries to talk sense to him but he doesn’t listen to his advice or pay heed to his wife’s taunts. She keeps telling him to switch. Add NAB officers, political workers, a transgendered person, undisclosed assets and an unseen widow to the mix.
After watching the play you would not be able to see anyone else in the role of Chaudhry other than veteran actor Sajid Hasan. He reunites with his Sitara aur Mehrunnisa co-star and writer after 26 years to give a classic Sajid Hasan performance. His mannerisms, his taunts, his flirtations remind you of the wiles of many politicians, especially the ones who ruled for the last five years. Mohsin Ejaz gives his best performance to date (better than Siachen) as he looks, talks and even walks like a Bangladeshi who hasn’t returned to his homeland after 1971. He explains why he speaks good Urdu, why he believes Chaudhry should quit the PML-N and who is he scared of the most. He refers to the audience as khalayi makhlooq.
Nazar Hussain plays the two roles of a transgender and a NAB officer and whom Anwar Maqsood has called a colleague of ‘the first man on the planet’. Director Dawar Mehmood must also be commended for juggling old and new actors to perfection.
Kyon Nikala had some lines that didn’t seem appropriate for a family audience and Anwar Maqsood disowned them in his closing remarks. In a live performance, the actors are subject to distraction from the audience and this happened here as well, with a few fumbles when mobile phones burst into ringing and children bawled.
Kyon Nikala is one of those plays that banks on the audience’s political sense of humor as PML-N is the target, followed by the PTI and PPP. The jokes are trademark Anwar Maqsood. The ticket is a little overpriced (Rs2,000).
The verdict: 4 out of 5