April 21, 2010 | |

Manto Ismat Hazir Hai - Play Review

Manto Ismat Hazir Hai brings to stage a rare form of visual storytelling. The play presents two of Manto’s short stories, namely Bu (Odour) and Titwal ka Kutta (The Dog of Titwal) along with Chughtai’s Lihaaf (The Quilt) and In The Name Of Those Married Women. In the mid-1940s, the writers were accused of obscenity and put to trial by the Lahore High Court, which is reflected in their stories.

Motley’s rendition is mesmeric. The stories are read out and enacted simultaneously. The script cautiously retains most of the written texts. The actor/ speaker narrates and performs the tale all at once, in the presence of tangible sets and invisible characters (as is the case with reading).

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