NAPA International Theatre Festival 2015: 'Among Fog'

    Written by: Zoha Rizwan
    Posted on: March 20, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments

    The blurred line between reality and dream, desire and struggle - NAPA International Theatre Festival 2015 Karachi: Stage Play Among Fog

    The blurred line between reality and dream, desire and struggle

    The NAPA International Theatre Festival is another effort by the National Academy of Performing Arts to revive the dying art of live stage performance. The festival brings to Karachi a multitude of collaborations between NAPA graduates, foreign theatre directors and artists. One such endeavor was “Among Fog”, performed by the talented graduates of NAPA and choreographed and directed by Brigel Gjoka and his assistant Mattia Gandini. The cast included Vajdan Shah, Shabana Hasan, Masood Rehman, Erum Ero, Joshinder Chaggar, Haris Khan and Zuhair Raza. The play involved very few dialogues, with actors frequently switching between English and Urdu. The focus was on conveying emotions through body movements. Throughout the play, German music was audible in the background, complementing the artists’ gestures. A powerhouse of emotions, “Among Fog” received an overwhelming applause and a standing ovation from the audience.

    NAPA International Theatre Festival 2015 Karachi: Stage Play Among Fog

    The play opened to a full house of theatre critics and lovers, students and acclaimed artists. Vajdaan Shah left a powerful impact on the audience with his agile movements and flawless delivery in the opening scene. This was followed by a sequence of dance and celebrations at a lavish party, and then appeared Vajdaan’s alter ego, played brilliantly by Syed M Jamil. Credit is due to Jamil for his passionate monologue, where he battles himself and the darkness around him, venting out his frustration caused by anomalies of the society.

    However, the most awe-inspiring moment was when the performers became trapped in a huge plastic covering, depicting the notion of how blurred perceptions have fogged reality in today’s world. “Among Fog” is a story pertinent to the current circumstances in the country, where hostility and malevolence have surpassed the good and moral in all forms and faces. It shows how jubilant celebrations continue amidst dead bodies of fellow countrymen, which makes it even more relevant, given the tense atmosphere in Karachi, the persistent danger to the citizens, and their growing insensitivity towards each other.

    NAPA International Theatre Festival 2015 Karachi: Stage Play Among Fog

    The cast received a standing ovation for their immaculate show of talent

    The cast used contemporary dance forms to build momentum in emotionally charged scenes, which were often followed by thunderous applause. The climax was staged in an eerie but beautiful manner, with both alter egos battling each other. The frequent use of plastic veneer to accentuate the effect of fog remained the highlight of the drama. Artistic Director Napa Repertory Theater, and the Godfather of the festival, Zain Ahmed addressed the audience after the splendid show, praising the quality of work presented, and commending “Among Fog” as another feather in NAPA’s cap. He told the audience how the team had worked diligently for two months to present what came out as a novel piece of creativity, combined with a positive message.

    The concept of “Among Fog” was not one that could be easily understood without concentrating on the tiniest of details. It portrayed various facets of the society that we live in: social class inequality, the dual lives we have, insensitivity to atrocities inflicted on others, and our battle with own conscience. With minimal dialogue and elaborate gestures, the message was communicated to the audience through meaningful dance moves. Due to its immense popularity among theatre lovers, “Among Fog” will be presented again at the NAPA Theatre on 20th March.


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