Theatre adaption of Hasina Moin's Ankahi premieres October

The drama is a 1982 Pakistani blockbuster
Aug 21, 2020

The theatre adaption of writer Hasina Moin's drama serial Ankahi which took Pakistanis by storm in 1982 is all set to hit the stage on October 20, 2020.

Back in 1982, the drama was broadcasted on PTV and became a big hit. Ankahi's star cast included Shehnaz Sheikh, Shakeel Yousuf, Javed Sheikh, Saleem Nasir, Jamshed Ansari, Behroze Sabzwari, Badar Khalil, Qazi Wajid, Azra Mansoor, Khalid Nizami, Arshad Mehmood, Tabassum Farooqui and Faisal Bilal.

Fast forward to 2020, director Dawar Mehmood of Kopykats Production, veteran actor Sajid Hasan and theatre actor Saqib Sameer are producing the musical adaptation.

They've shortened the 14-episode drama to 90 minutes. Ankahi 2020 was supposed to be launched on March 15, but the date was pushed ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Model-actress Amna Ilyas will play Sana Murad, who senior actor Shehnaz Sheikh had played in the original serial. This will be her theatre debut. Speaking to SAMAA Digital on the sidelines of a press conference held at Karachi Arts Council on Wednesday, Ilyas called this a challenging experience for her.

"It's an extremely difficult role and I feel a little scared," she said. "I'm habitual of seeing live audiences in modeling, film premieres and award shows, but sitting continuously on stage for 90 minutes will be a totally different experience."

Director Mehmood said he chose to adapt Ankahi out of other dramas because of Arts Council President Ahmed Shah who longed to pay homage to Hasina Moin. "We choose Ankahi since we felt it will have the best impression in theatre," he added.

The serial is very close to Moin herself. She says she even had offers from Indian directors who wanted to make movies from her script, but she turned them down. The writer feels Ankahi fit the requirements of the 80s era just like its theatre adaption matches today's needs.

Amna Ilyas

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