Botched burglary.

KARACHI -- It's an encouraging sign that the Arts Council of Pakistan's theatre department has begun to regularly produce dramas penned by globally known playwrights. After the successful production of Polish writer Slawomir Mrozek's Out at Sea a couple of months back, a version on Friday evening of Italian Nobel laureate Dario Fo's play The Virtuous Burglar directed by Asad Gojar received appreciation from the audience that had come in a good number to watch the farce at the council's Studio II.

The first scene of The Virtuous Burglar has a funny conversation between a thief (Bilal Ahmad) - who has broken into a house to burgle - and his wife (Shizza Khan) on the phone because she knows where he is. She nags the life out of him. In comes the owner of the house (Mustafa Shah) with a girl (Malika Haider) with whom he wants to have a good time because his wife - Anna (Sheryl John) - isn't home.

The thief, as soon as he hears someone coming, hides underneath a giant clock. It unleashes some humorous sequences as the man tries to get closer to his girlfriend but she pushes him away on one pretext or the other. Things begin to go haywire when first Anna returns home early, followed by the thief's wife and then a young man Antonio (Armughaan Khatri) who apparently is going out with Anna makes his entrance...

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