THREATRICS: Murder at Starlight
By Khaver Siddiqi
A debut play by Stage Fright Productions, written by Mariam Virani and co-directed by Virani and Ali Junejo, Starlight is set in the early 19th century and is a murder mystery. The tagline of the play reads: “They all had the motive but only one had the drive to kill.”
The play that was recently staged in Karachi started off with the basics as we discovered the premise; Starlight is a club owned by Jaselle Castillo (Fatima Hasan) who also sings at the club regularly. Jaselle is also the murder victim and the suspects are all connected to her in one way or the other. The stake being not only the club itself but also a vast fortune that Jaselle recently inherited. A special aspect of her character is that although she dies in the first act, we get to see Jaselle in flashbacks with regards to the suspects. And it is in these flashbacks that Fatima explored the complexities of her character’s relations with others.
Enter the suspects.
The club is managed by Victor Lemur (Nadir Siddiqui), who is clearly uptight and displays an almost rude attitude towards everyone — except for Jaselle. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a motive to kill her. Nadir was at ease in this role, though at times it seemed his character had nothing to do, but when he did do something the moment was hardly dull.