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Karachi Laughter Fest 2021

12th February – 14th March 2021

The comic and the tragic lie inseparably close, like light and shadow.— Socrates

The Covid-19 pandemic has cast a long shadow on culture around the world but now we hope to see some light. The National Academy of Performing Arts brings you the Karachi Laughter Fest 2021 – online edition to lift your cares and make you smile. The laughter fest is our way to welcome in the New Year with joy and mirth. The 10 short plays, many being directed by emerging directors will entertain you and offer you some new perspectives on life. This year we are very excited to partner with Theatre in the Mill UK and Radicle Comedy to host an online standup comedy workshop for women with a performance at the Laughter Fest.

As ever NAPA remains committed to bringing you the best in the performing arts.

Turram Ka Makaan

 12th February
Directed By: Safia Bhalaisha

It was tradition for the classical Urdu plays of the Parsi Theatre of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to include comic interludes. These were often complete plays with in themselves. Turram Ka Makaan is one such interlude written by Agha Hashr Kashmiri.

Cast:

Shabana Hassan
Faizan Chawla
Kaleem Ghouri
Mujtaba Zaidi
Najah Siddiqui
Rao Shahwaiz

Zara Phir Say Kehna

14th February
Directed By: Malik Farhan Aziz

On the surface this play is about two strangers who meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. Or is it about the struggle between the desire for individuality and the need to conform. Or perhaps it explores the tension between the value of an individual and value associated with being in love. Love holds the promise of companionship but demands sacrifice that will ultimately alter you.

Cast:

Safia Bhalaisha
Faizan Chawla
Jahanzaib Navi

Kay Har Khwahish Pe Dum Niklay

19th February
Directed By: Aisha Hasan

The play is about a woman obsessed with dreams and their meaning. Her obsession leads her towards down a difficult path. Her dream interpretations threaten her marriage as she becomes convinced that her husband should leave her and marry her sister. In her crazed state of mind she manages to convince her sister as well.

Cast:

Shabana Hassan
Maha Hassan
Irfan Bardai

Pakkay Dost

21st February
Directed By: Samhan Ghazi

This is a short play about two old friends going on a camping trip… after a prison break…while trying to kill each other.

Performer:

Farhan Alam
Zain Qureshi

Tanz O Mizah Ki Ik Shaam

5th March
Directed By: Zain Nazar

Emerging dastangoi trained through the NAPA outreach project for Dastangoi training will perform comic essays by Muhstaq Ahmed Yusufi and Farhat ullah Baig.

Cast:

Qadeer
Riaz
Shahwaiz
Ifrah Khalid
M. Shafique

Bhotiya Writer

3rd March
Directed By: Farhan Alam Siddiqui

A journalist visits a playwright on the down and out for an interview that could launch his comeback. But in the world of theatre, appearances can be deceiving…

Cast:

Kiran Siddiqui
Meesam Naqvi

Chirri Ki Dukki

26th February
Directed By: Kiran Siddiqui

Chirri ki Dukki is a short story written by Ismat Chughtai, who in her inimitable style targets some of the most deeply engrained issues of our society such as complexion defining a woman’s worth, the sub continental Rishta culture, the feminine support to toxic patriarchy and how conformity does not ensure a happy ending.

Cast:

Safia Bhalaisha
Asfandyar
Samina Seher
Fehmida Baloch

Meri Bivi Tum Ho

7th March
Directed By: Aqeel Ahmed

Curiosity killed the cat or at least got her in a lot of trouble. This is the story of a young girl who gets into all sorts of trouble because she interferes in matters where she perhaps should not have.

Performer:

M. Jameel
Fraz Chotani
Sehrish Qadir
Aisha Bakhtyar
Hooria Tariq

Nanzeen Tumharay Naam

12th March
Directed By: Damyanti Gosai

Nazneen Tumharay Naam is an adaptation of Candida. The play is primarily a love triangle but has elements of wit, positive exploration of love, marriage, loyalty and position of women in the family. The play has a comic tone yet provokes the thoughts of the viewers.

Cast:

Hani Taha
Farhan Alam
Asfandyar

Radicle Comedy

13th March
Directed By: Natalie Diddams and Natalia Gul

Some are born funny, some become funny, and others learn it in an online workshop!, This is a performance developed as part of this year’s Karachi Laughter Fest though a series of workshops by comedic collaborators Natalie Diddams and Natalia Gul Jilani. The women-centric workshops introduced the participants to a radicle approach to writing and performing stand-up. The performance remains the same. But the writing and development comes from a place of support, fun, and creative solidarity.

Allah Wastay Ka Bair

14th March
Directed By: Asiya Alam



Allah Wastay ka Bair is a translation of Russian author Anton Chekov’s The Bear. A recently bereaved widow and an apparently greedy landowner argue over an unpaid debt. The argument results in a battle of wits, a duel and a proposal of marriage.

Cast:

Hani Taha
Aqeel Ahmed
Jahanzaib Navi