After attaining immense success in life, it is not easy for a celebrity to put everything at risk and try something new – a backlash may happen, expectations may not meet and criticism is of course there. But only the daring ones prefer to choose the difficult path – and the multi-faceted artist Bushra Ansari, at the age of 67, dare to take the challenge of facing the live audience in an hour-long stand-up comedy show, aptly titled as Malika-e-Tabbasum.
We appreciate Bushra Ansari’s efforts to step into a domain that is primarily dominated by the young breed of comedians all across the globe. As said by the mastermind of the show, Dawar Mehmood that it took him almost three years to convince her to attempt it.
The veteran performer came out of her comfort zone to entertain the audience – her show included anecdotes, life experiences, and her take on the aurat march, café culture, and changing norms of society.
A quick glimpse at an hour-long show
Bushra Ansari is why everyone is here, but we don’t get what we are expecting. The show that promises to tickle our funny bones falls flat, mainly because the narrative lacks freshness and nearly half of her conversation seems heard of.
If you are Bushra Ansari’s fan and never miss her interviews and media appearances then you certainly know that she is very close to her family especially her deceased sister Sumbul with whom she has cunning voice resemblance. The incident where Bushra made a fool of her brother-in-law by having a conversation in Sumbul’s voice has been shard on television umpteen times and there is no need to reshare it on the platform of Malika-e-Tabbasum. The actress also narrated some awkward incidents where fans reached out to her for selfies in the middle of funeral ceremonies and airport appearances.
She also took a jibe at the social-political state of the country and the military involvement in it. Bushra flaunted her singing talent while talking about her favorite singer Noor Jehan. She paid her gratitude to her by doing Noor Jehan’s parody in different eras of times.
What went wrong with Dawar’s passion project?
In the introduction remarks, the maker of the show Dawar called Malika-e-Tabbasum ‘a passion project’ but it failed to connect with audience and largely appeared to be a hush-hush attempt. When Dawar called on the stage he looked uncomfortable. Later, he explained his marketing strategy in a comic way that apparently had to get bundles of laugh but the audience didn’t find it funny at all.
He used the ‘aurat card’ to sell the show as according to him nobody was interested in buying a show that featured Pakistan’s most successful comedy performer, Bushra Ansari. He mentioned that investors asked him to incorporate Asma Abbas’s session to attract audience. As Bushra Ansari’s fan I know that she is the queen of comedy and she doesn’t need anyone to hold her audience. The brilliant performer proved it true when she successfully engage her audience in a hour long show based on a half-based concept and weak script.
Moreover, Dawar hasn’t done proper research for the show. In one instance, Bushra Ansari mentioned the difference between Lahoris and Karachiites – and the context was wrong as for Karachiites she talked about an elite class not the community as a whole.
Bushra opens up about her personal life
For an artist of such high stature, it is not easy to open up about her personal life and elaborate about things that celebrities usually prefer to keep private – including her sleek physique and second marriage. She proudly introduced her second husband who was sitting in the first row and mentioned how his support helped her change as a person.
The ‘Tere Bin’ mention
Bushra Ansari has played the prominent role of Maa Begum in the most trending show, Tere Bin, on television these days and her stand-up comedy is of course incomplete without its mention. The actress shared incidents when her fans stop her in the middle of nowhere to talk about Tere Bin and why Maa Begum is not doing enough to save Meerab and Murtaism’s love.
Kudos to Bushra Ansari for putting up an entertaining show. Her witty humor and brilliant comic timing made Malika-e-Tabbasum a joyful ride for us. Though we feel that it could be made better with more planning and homework. If you want to catch up with the brilliant performer, go and watch Malika E Tabassum at Arts Council Karachi from the 1st of July to the 15th of July.