Intrigue and investigation.

KARACHI -- It will be difficult for the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) to recover from the huge loss of its President Emeritus Zia Mohyeddin, who passed away on Feb 13 this year. He was the guiding spirit behind the institution who virtually set it up from scratch giving its theatre department a worthy course to follow. After all, he was also an artiste of international repute and high merit.

It is in this context an Urdu adaptation of J B Priestley's play An Inspector Calls by Khalid Ahmed, who has also directed it, which premiered on the weekend and will conclude its run on March 19, gains importance because the production has been dedicated to the memory of Zia Mohyeddin.

The director's note provided to art lovers at the entrance of the theatre hall reads: 'This is the first play in the history of Napa that is being put up without the benefit of Zia Sahib's observations, advice and final approval. This makes us all sad. However, it did have his consent and support. When I mentioned to him that I was planning to start working on this play he was very pleased. He knew the play very well and was fond of it. We discussed casting too. So, in a sense, we can still boast of his involvement in this production.'

And this is also precisely why it will be difficult to critically analyse the performance, which has its positives and negatives...

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