Pakistan News & Features Services
The legendary English poet and playwright, William Shakespeare, hailed as the greatest-ever writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist, has had a massive following all over the globe for centuries.
The Merchant of Venice is one of his most tragic comedies believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598.
Although classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is talked about more for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the famous 'Hath not a Jew eyes' speech.
The Urdu version of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, directed by Akbar Islam, was staged at the auditorium of the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in Karachi on December 29 and it turned out to be another success story.
It was a great idea of doing an Urdu version of one of the most famous plays of all time.
The second and third-year students of the NAPA came up with sterling performance to meet the challenge having grasped the translated version of Shakespeare’s renowned play.
Hammad Sartaj did justice to the pivotal and iconic role of Shylock while Shahjahan Narejo was superb in the role of Bassanio, having worked hard on pronunciation and gestures. Both of them did a fabulous job.
Shaheen Khan as Portia was mixed bag as she seemed to be delivering dialogues rather hastily in the first half of the play but she was brilliant in the latter half with her talents unfolding as the play progressed.
Farhan Alam Siddiqui was pretty good in the role of Antonio while Hammad Khan’s comings and goings as Launcelot provided comic relief and Hammad Siddique did the role of the Prince of Morocco.
The couple of Maha Ali and Faraz Chhotani excelled in their roles while Sonia Ashraf and Noel Francis also had their moments.
Overall it was a wonderful effort by Director Akbar Islam and his students made him proud by delivering against the toughest of odds.