O Level students of Darakhshan Campus Girls Section experienced a whole new world of theatre when they visited the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) on 5 September 2014. The students excitedly looked forward to watching Fasaana-e-Ajaaib – the Urdu adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. The play was co-produced by the British Council and directed by Mr Gregory Thompson, an award-winning British theatre director. The set and costumes were designed by British designer Louie Whitemore and the cast comprised NAPA graduates.
The play was divided into two halves – the first was set in the Mughal era (1614) and the second in modern Karachi (2014). The most fascinating aspect of the show was its unique format – while the first half had a seated audience who only observed and listened to the performance, the second half involved everyone in the play. Mr Thompson said there were parallels between the story and contemporary life in Pakistan, referring to a recent case of honour killing.
The students enjoyed the play immensely – the witty dialogue, the flawless acting, and the upbeat dances and music in the second half. At the end, the students had a photo session with the performers.