KARACHI: Pakistani Actor Ahad Raza Mir has been nominated for The Betty Mitchell Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama for his title role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Canada. The ceremony will be held on June 24.
The Betty Mitchell Awards, or Bettys for short, were started in 1998 to celebrate and honour outstanding achievement in Calgary’s professional theatre community, according to its official website.
Mir, 24, became the first brown actor to be cast in the coveted role of Hamlet.
According to Calgary Herald, there were some evident alterations made to better suit Mir’s portrayal of Hamlet. In an interview with The Express Tribune, Mir identified this by saying, “To suit me, they definitely gave Hamlet’s costume a desi vibe.” A circulation of images of Mir as Hamlet were making rounds on the internet that displayed the conviction and intensity of expression that audience members tweeted about after seeing it. One user remarked “A boy who never fails to amaze me.”
Actress Sajjal Ali, who recently became engaged to Mir, showed her appreciation for his performance by writing on her Instagram “Ahad, I have to admit that there’s nobody like you. Playing Hamlet is an accomplishment. Out of all the performances of any actor I’ve ever witnessed, your Hamlet was easily one of the best.”
On his recent Instagram post, Mir expressed his gratitude towards the response he has received from his fans, “Thank you to all the Pakistani’s that came out to show how united we are. Thank you Canada, for making me feel at home. And most of all thank you to my amazing fans who have not seen the show and are yet supporting it.”
In a recent interview with The News, Mir expresses that 50-60% of the audience were, in fact, Pakistanis which led to him feeling “overwhelmed” and said that the “real success was inspiring Pakistanis to audition for theatre there”.
“You shouldn’t listen to people when they tell you not to do something because if you feel it is what you’re meant for, and then follow it. It’s because I’m giving all my effort to one thing only to just move onto something else. If I put 110% into one thing, then something will come out of it,” he said in his interview with The Express Tribune.
The recognition of an international nomination and overwhelming positive response on Twitter justifies the 110% Mir put in his Hamlet performance.
Mir has since then expressed on his Instagram his desire for bringing the play closer to home and is aiming to arrange the possibility of doing so. He has reportedly also said that he is trying for it to at least make it to Dubai.
The young actor is now back in Pakistan working on the drama Aangan alongside his fiancé, as well as Mawra Hocane and Hira Mani.