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
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.
Zara Phir Say Kehna
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.
Kay Har Khwahish Pe Dum Niklay
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.
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.
Tanz O Mizah Ki Ik Shaam
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.
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…
Chirri Ki Dukki
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.
Meri Bivi Tum Ho
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.
Nanzeen Tumharay Naam
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.
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
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.