After conquering the world of television with award-winning drama Yaqeen Ka Safar, flying to new heights of success with the box office hit Parwaaz Hai Junoon and making a surprise singing debut on Coke Studio with Ko Ko Korina, Ahad Raza Mir has now conquered the world of theatre as well.
The Pakistani actor is back in Calgary, where he attended high school and studied acting at the University of Calgary, to play the title role in Hamlet: A Ghost Story. It opened Friday night.
Mir’s close friend Sajal Ali took to Instagram to praise Mir for his stellar performance.
Mir was a rising star in Calgary theatre circles before he returned to Pakistan where he has established himself as one of the country’s leading young actors in television and film in two short years.
As reported by the Calgary Herald, Mir agreed to fly back to Calgary to play Hamlet after he began working on the text on his own.
At the time, he wanted to make his Hamlet “the kind of guy you’d like to hang out with. I wanted to make him as relatable as possible to a contemporary audience.”
He said that, “It was a massive, scary decision for me to come back to Calgary to star in Hamlet. I had to give it a great deal of thought when [The Shakespeare Company’s artistic director] Haysam Kadri approached me with the idea of returning to Calgary to do the play.”
He said his career in Pakistan had just taken off. “I had to make a window in my schedule to return to Calgary and there was also that realization that I would not simply be returning to Calgary to do a play but I would be coming back to myself and the person I was two years ago. Those were not easy hurdles to overcome but now that I’m back in Calgary I know it was the right thing for me to do for myself as well as for this production,” he told the Calgary Herald.
The Shakespeare Company contacted him for three years before signing him as the lead. Mir believes it just shows their level of commitment to him. The Pakistani star will be the first brown actor to be cast as Hamlet in Canada.
Mir’s Hamlet: A Ghost Story ends its run on April 13 as he has to be back in Pakistan by April 20 “because I am booked for the rest of the year. I’d like to be staying much longer to spend time with family and friends but that’s simply not possible.”
The 24-year-old is currently playing a character on a period drama Aangan with Sajal Aly, Mawra Hocane, Ahsan Khan and Sonya Hassyn.