Actors excited about ‘Ishq’ at the Saddler’s Well | Entertainment
August 22, 2017 Share

Actors excited about ‘Ishq’ at the Saddler’s Well | Entertainment

LONDON: Leading Pakistani actors have said they are doing their best to showcase Pakistan in the best manner at the Saddler’s Well Theatre for ‘Ishq The Musical’ featuring the legend of Heer Ranjha.

Speaking to this scribe during the rehearsals of ‘Ishq’ at the Redbridge Drama, Pakistani actors said it was a matter of honour for them that ‘Ishq The Musical’ will be played at the prestigious venue of Saddler’s Well.

The play is being organised in partnership with Daily Sun News TV Network and Jang Group of Newspapers.

Serendip Productions has brought over leading Pakistani musicians and artists for the brand new Sufi, Punjabi, English musical ‘Ishq’, featuring a combination of classical and modern dance with a unique blend of poetry and fusion music.

There are around two weeks to go for the actual show at the theatre but producers of the show are leaving no stones unturned and hectic rehearsals are taking place daily in East London.

The dance is being choreographed by Suhaee Abro from Pakistan and Owen Smith from UK. Both have their distinct styles cultures – east and west – synchronized beautifully, fusion at its best.

Serendip’s directors Human and Farooq Beg said this is what they had in mind when they began this project in association with the Pakistan High Commission. They said they wanted to celebrate the diversity and, at the same time, provide a platform where the two cultures and people could interact and understand each other’s points of view and outlook towards life.

Huma Beg said: “It is sad that even our own youngsters are not aware of the colour and variants of their own culture. For instance, everyone knows that there is story of Heer Ranjha but none realize the intricate nuances within this story. Heer Ranjha was written centuries before Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Who knows – perhaps Shakespeare got his inspiration from this Punjabi story.”

Dr. Farooq Beg, the director of the play, said: “We have been working on the story of Heer Ranjha for the past 2 years but we have been fighting for integration for well over a quarter of a century. So for me, it’s very emotional to see the integration of multiple cultures come together in the biggest capital of the world and in one of the world’s best dance theatres showcasing the best of Pakistan.”

He further said that the subplots of the story are also issues that he has worked for throughout his life.

Mushfiq Murshed, the playwright, said: “The parameter of the story will, of course, remain the same but one has to realize that it is an adaptation. As it is a multi cultural collaboration, I had to consider the sensitivities and exposure of all while introducing them to this amazing and colourful aspect of our culture.”

Ahsan Khan, the famous celebrity actor from Pakistan playing the role of Ranjha, told this scribe: “There is a lot of work that I have sacrificed in Pakistan to come to London and perform at Sadler’s Well. I am here to feed my passion. As an actor, I feel that we need to have diverse experiences and widen our horizon. Acting in an English play depicting Pakistani culture in Sadler’s Well, London, is an opportunity that does not come to many. I didn’t think twice in accepting this role.”

Adnan Jaffer reprises the role the antagonist Kaido. He said: “It is a great opportunity to be working with a multicultural ensemble on the global stage of Saddler’s Well. A challenge that I am now enjoying.”

Fahad Mirza, playing two roles – The King and Roshan (Ranjha’s brother) – said: “Outside of Broadway, this is probably as big as it gets for an actor.” He further said, “This is the first time I am playing a non-lead so I feel completely liberated to just act and explore my range and ability as an actor.”


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