- Posted on: October 07, 2013 | Comments
This week the legend of Sultana Daku is revived on stage at the Islamabad Club Auditorium by Purple Patch productions. The ambition to retell the legend with the addition of modern references is to resurrect the oral traditions and performing arts that embody the inherent culture of Pakistan.
The story of the notorious outlaw Sultana Daku, a loved hero for his reputation of stealing from the Raj and distributing to the poor, is brought to life as comedy with the location shifted from UP to Islamabad, and the villain is no longer the Raj but a new set of rich and political elite. The plot centers on the announcement of the end of Sultana’s indecent ways in order to honour a promise made to his mother, but before he retires he must have his story told to the world, leading to the abduction of a journalist and violinist to help frame for audiences.
Written and directed by Abdullah Farhatullah and co-produced by Usama Qazi and Mohsin Ejaz, the result is an entertaining and humorous one –hour play as Sultana Daku exhibits his larger than life image, aided by his devoted sidekicks Chuski and Kackraa. Special mention is necessary for the violinist Ustad M Saleem who adds an extra punch with his tunes. The star of the show is veteran television and stage actor Salman Shahid, who embodies the persona of Sultana perfectly, while never attempting to overshadow the rest of the cast.
As producer Mohsin Ejaz stipulates before the play commences, this is a comedy meant to provide entertainment and laughs without any hard-hitting moral or social lessons. However, behind all the laughs and ridiculous antics, there is a certain haunting realization as Sultana Daku enunciates “when there is a lack of justice, that is when anarchy and lawlessness will erupt” giving birth to many reluctant Sultana Dakus and company.
The play will continue at the Islamabad Club until October 13.
(July 24, 2017)