SUNO – A Stage Play By Taskeen & The Dawood Foundation
Suppression is the root cause to multiple disorders which take place internally. Without knowing the impact of words one should hold their horses because somewhere their words can shatter others’ emotions and personality. As a nation, we are going through many challenges and hardships on routine basis but home is a place where we shouldn’t be judged, taunted, criticized and hurt. That’s why everyone wants to return home after facing all the destitution i.e. to find peace and relaxation. With this note, the basics of “SUNO”, a play, written and directed by Hamza Bangash, is conceptualized.
SUNO is a story of 18 year old Gulzar (Hadi Bin Arshad), who is the only son of Sohail (Hammad Siddiq) and Afia (Syeda Danya Zaidi). Due to multiple pressures like father’s expectations, behavior, educational stress and societal expectancies, Gulzar suffers from Bipolar Disorder. Due to certain reasons, Gulzar tries to commit suicide, without knowing the reasons in details he is sent to mental asylum under the treatment of Dr. Jahangir (Hasan Khan). Gulzar disconnects himself from his family and friends Sofiya and Murtaza. How Gulzar returns home is what makes SUNO an engaging stage play.
SUNO is a great example of good script and great performances. Hadi gives a sincere performance and is very impressive in emotional scenes. Hammad stands out because of his tones and expressions, giving viewers a varied range of conviction and command. Danya is believable and portrays a realistic character with gusto.
Hiraa Dar (playing Sheila) gives some genuine reasons to smile and giggle as well. Yasmeen Hashmi (as Sofiya) is good. Rest of the cast (Syed Jameel and Mahjabeen Rahman) helps in taking the play forward.
The direction of SUNO is apt; however viewers find the message a bit contradicting. At some points sending bipolar patients to rehab is shown as “not-to-do” thing and at other point the same concept is favored. The stage play misses to create the validity of Gulzar committing suicide and then sent to mental rehabilitation center. The climax is also a little abrupt, and a few things were left doubtful.
The script of SUNO is very engaging and ignites the interest level of the audience. SUNO is inspired from the real life of “Ramis Akhtar”. SUNO is presented by The Dawood Foundation in collaboration with Taskeen to break the stereotypes associated with mental illness. The play is happening in Arts Council, Karachi, from 27th to 30th April 2016. Don’t miss it, if you are looking for some power pack performances.