Acting method on Pakistani TV insufficient to understand King Lear: Khalid Ahmad.

KARACHI -- Karachi: The cast of National Academy of Performing Arts' (Napa) next and most hyped-production, King Lear, addressed a press conference on Thursday. Lead actors Khalid Ahmad and Mira Sethi spoke about the nuances involved in tackling Shakespeare and being directed by master thespian Zia Mohyeddin.

The play has been translated in Urdu by Ahmad himself, who will also play the titular role of Lear. Mira Sethi and Shabana Hasan will play the elder and the most heartless daughters while Nataliya Karanji will play Cordilia - the youngest and the most misunderstood daughter of the old and mistreated king. Other cast members include Napa alumni Paras Masroor, Nazrul-Hasan, Fawad Khan and Syed Meesam Naqvi.

Khalid Ahmad and Mira Sethi play the lead roles in King Lear


Ahmad talked about how performing a Shakespeare play is a far more complex and tricky process compared to any other play.

'First of all, the method to acting practiced in Pakistan, specifically for television, is not sufficient for theatre. Then again, even for actors in theatre, doing a play such as King Lear is very tricky because it cannot be performed in a naturalistic manner. It needs to be delivered with a certain style, flare and rhetoric,' said Ahmad.

'In classical plays, every emotion is exaggerated. If there's anger - it's uncontrollable anger. If there's sadness, it's unimaginable sadness. You can't compare it to the modern realistic theatre.'

Being a television actor, Sethi also revealed how difficult it was for her to adjust to the environment of theatre. 'It was really hard because you pick up a lot of bad habits from television but I really wanted to put myself through this grind,' she said. 'Zia sahib would take me to his office and say 'no, no, no, not good enough.' He is the eldest but every day he was not a minute late. He worked so hard on everyone, especially me because I needed it the most. So after witnessing all that, you gather immense respect for the art, the craft, the man and the institution.'

She then went onto say that this play has been a life-changing experience for her, 'It's changed my life, I want to go back to my fellow actors from television and...

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