Jhaanjar Di Paanwaan Chhankaar – hard hitting theatre comes to Pakistan

Olomopolo Media, headed by the talented Kanwal Khoosat has been responsible for creating a space with Olomopolo xxx that encourages free thinking and creative discourse on topics that sometimes we as a society tend to shy away from.

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Their latest presentation ‘Jhaanjar Di Paanwaan Chhankaar’ (Hear the Sound of My Anklet’s Bells), is a play about an aspiring musician, Hamza (Zain Afzal) who has recently started living on his own to avoid the constant attention of his rather over protective mother, Mrs. Sohail (Samiya Mumtaz).

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While Hamza is still getting used to living on his own, he comes face to face with his free-spirited neighbor, Zaman (Sarmad Khoosat, also the co director of the play alongside Kanwal) who walks into his humble abode one day. And hence begins their deep friendship. Zaman is an actor who is playing a rather interesting role in an upcoming film production. The two men begin to bond over shared interests.

All is well, until Mrs. Sohail makes a surprise visit and we get to witness the overbearing side that has forced Hamza to move out in the first place. Mrs Rubina Sohail, begins to question Hamza’s choices in almost everything – from his friends to the way he keeps his apartment.

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What follows next is a strong tale of realisations from all sides. The play sheds light on our society’s attitude towards sexuality, parenting, persons with special needs and bending gender roles.

Jhaanjar features strong performances from the three main protagonists, who through their commanding stage presence and acting made me realise how theatre can really be one of the most immersive mediums for audiences.

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Saeed Rahman and Fatima Maan, the writers have done a brilliant job in presenting a story that highlights issues that we certainly need to start talking about as a society. And if the reaction of the audience is anything to go by, they are absolutely ready to have those sometimes difficult conversations.

The play is showing in Lahore this weekend, and moves to Karachi and Lahore. Don’t miss it, especially if you are a fan of good, meaningful theatre.

Lahore | 20 – 22 April, 2018, at Hall 2, Alhamra Arts Council, Mall Road

Karachi | 27 – 29 April, 2018 at Karachi Arts Council

Islamabad | 5 – 6 May, 2018, at Pakistan National Council of Arts

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