‘An Inspector Calls’: take on exploitation of women | The Express Tribune

Khalid Ahmed’s adaptation of JB Presley’s ‘Inspector Calls’ takes you on a unique journey.

A famous saying attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates, “A guilty conscience needs no accuser”, highlights the importance of self-reflection and the weight of conscience.

For decades, this phrase has been used to describe the pain and guilt one feels when one has made a mistake. Regardless of whether they have been accused or not, everyone has the ability to reflect and be aware of their mistakes. However, it is not as simple as it is made out to be. You see, remorse is a dirty game, and while most people can feel it, it also shows up when one is most vulnerable and accountable for one’s actions.

The latest production of the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), An inspector calls.It is an Urdu adaptation of the play by English playwright JB Presley. An inspector calls, A supposedly close-knit rich family discovers the same crime that at first appears kind, friendly, and warm-hearted, until an inspector knocks on their doorstep, uncovering secrets and the rich’s selfish, It exposes the selfish side.

Also starring Nazrul Hasan, Masooma Nader, Ashmil Lalwani (Salman), Yogeshwar Karira (Sarfaraz), Anusha Khalid (Sarah) and Khalid Ahmed (Hayat Fazaluddin), the murder mystery presents difficult truths for the audience to digest. does. Which can lead you to question your own life and the times you have participated in jealousy, hypocrisy, or exploitation of others.

Inspector’s request

It is interesting that a play set in 1912, shortly before World War I, still carries a powerful warning in the contemporary world. With its themes of social responsibility and guilt, the story revolves around the life of a young, beautiful woman who commits suicide. Investigating the cause of her death, the eccentric inspector interrogates each family member until they are forced to confess their involvement in her death.

In keeping with the trademark of JB Presley’s work, this Urdu adaptation also presents ideas in a prominent way – leaving the audience to examine their own lives and not misunderstand the whole point. Again and again, the inspector gets excited and repeats his impassioned plea for a more honest and compassionate society, as if recited to an audience.

In a way, Nazr stole the show. With his terrible performance, rather terrible demeanor, which although at times felt repetitive and monotonous, still proved effective – in breaking the bubble in which the family lives, and reminding them and us That our actions will always have consequences.

A message for Pakistani women

According to Director Ahmed An inspector calls.This drama maintains its importance in Pakistan due to the rising inflation, poverty, injustice and discrimination in the country. In conversation with The Express Tribune, she also pointed out the oppression faced by women in today’s society and how the production aims to highlight their plight. “This is Napa’s offering for International Women’s Day,” he explained.

And watching the “secrets” unfold throughout the investigation, it appeared that Ahmed was right. The anonymous woman, who went by many names, was revealed to be the victim of many people—some who exploited her marginalized status, others who denied her rights because of her grievances and insecurities. Took away However, the biggest crime against her was still the lack of humanity and respect shown by the family members, who considered themselves epitome of morality and ethics and ironically, defenders of women’s rights. .

Being “another kind of woman”, as Sarfaraz’s character put it, Surya Jameel, her first and assumed initial name, represented all the working women in Pakistan who were hand in hand. They live together and live in isolation. A violent and male-dominated world where their “honor and dignity” are more privileged than they are.

The play also highlights the role of power and corruption in mitigating the plight of the lower socio-economic classes. An abusive married woman, Hayat’s wife, throughout the show shows her uncaring, restless, cigarette-smoking self and denies all accusations. Only later, it is revealed that she is also the head of a local women’s charity, and refuses any help to the young woman, while she is on her last breath. His character may be the best representation of how the hierarchy works in a world where power, abuse of law, money are the biggest barriers against justice and accountability.

Although the play closes on an open note, the purpose of the story is not compromised. By shining the spotlight on the housemaid working in Hayat’s place, the director ensured that people left the theater with a complete picture of who the play really is for the working class.

Zia Mohiuddin’s Last Wish Message

“Rehearsals for the play had already begun when Zia was alive. He was very happy about the play as it was one of his favorite plays,” Ahmed said, explaining the significance of the staging. An inspector calls. To pay tribute to Napa founder and president late Zia Mohiuddin who passed away on February 15 at the age of 91.

He further emphasized the importance of continuing theater performances in Napa. “It is extremely disappointing that Zia is not here today; it was a great honor to be under his patronage. He was someone who knew the inner workings of theaters very well and everyone valued his opinion. Now It’s a void that will be impossible to fill again. But if there’s any way to honor him, it’s to show that the Napa students who spent the most time with him continue to make the mark he left. Trying hard to keep.”

The show runs March 10-19 in Napa!

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