The journey of tiatr, across the seven seas
Tiatr has a strong foundation in Goa, capturing the hearts of the Goans. Over time, it has slowly but successfully moving overseas, reaching out to the Goan diaspora as well as everyone else that shares a love for Goa… people who crave pure entertainment
In recent years, a handful of tiatr directors have taken their successful productions to foreign countries, mostly the United Kingdon, and have won instant audience appeal. Tiatrs continue to be presented in Gulf countries as well, but the earlier craze and trend is slowly dwindling there.
The lukewarm response from the Goan audience in the Gulf countries could be due to the migration of Goans to the UK. And in comparison to the numerous tiatrs being staged in the past, musical shows in Gulf countries seem to be winning audience appeal in recent times. Shahu Almeida, based in Kuwait for several years, has been organising musical shows annually and all three shows have turned out to be houseful and instant hits. He admits that the main reason for tiatrs taking a backseat in Kuwait could be due to migration of the Goan community to the UK. Despite this, he assures that the available audience expects quality shows that provide value-for-money entertainment. This year, in the musical show ‘Konknni Machiechi Seva’, Almeidaroped in Prince Jacob, John D’Silva, Lawry Travasso, Marcus Vaz, Xavier Gomes, Cajetan de Sanvordem and Francis de Tuem from Goa, besides Andrew, Simon Gonsalves, Babit de Zuari, Polly de Curtorim and Agnel from the UK, mimicry artiste Amresh Kamat from Qatar, Kuwait Trio Cajetan-Xavier-Marcus, who made their appearance after a gap of 18 years alongside several other artistes from Kuwait. “Due to hurdles concerning visa and other formalities, besides making arrangements for accommodation, food, etc, many tiatr lovers do not want to take the risk of organising tiars in Kuwait,” Almeida reveals. Tony Gonsalves, who has been promoting tiatrs in the UK in a big way for several years, says that he takes pains to come down to Goa and watch seasonal shows. And if satisfied with the performance, besides taking the audience pulse, he picks them up for shows overseas. Gonsalveswas instrumental in staging Lorna’s musical shows abroad and he received a good audience response. He states that the Goans abroad crave for quality shows and don’t mind spending for good entertainment. DySP Sammy Tavares was the first tiatr director to stage his second tiatr, ‘Tim Thikam Sanddlolim’, in North America in 2014. He staged the same tiatr in the UK, Dubai and Kuwait as well. His first tiatr, ‘Aplea Bhurgeam Sangata’, was staged in Paris, UK, Dubai Kuwait and Muscat in 2012. His third tiatr, ‘Police Officer’ (2017), was staged in the US, Canada, UK, Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat and Bahrain. With regard to audience response in US, Tavares says that the US is a big country and the Goan community is spread out everywhere. “But despite Goans scattered across the country, there were 300-odd tiatr fans for the show, which was a good response,” he says, adding, “There were people who even travelled from Canada for the show.” Tavares informs that his sister-in-law, Espy Tavares, along with her son, Gladston, used to promote tiatrs in Bahrain earlier. “But after they migrated to the UK, they started to promote tiatrs and musical shows of Lorna/ Lawry Travasso there. They recently organised ‘Goa Day’ in the UK in September and received a good response,” he adds. Tavares’s brother, late Max Tavares, who passed away in 1997, was also a tiatr fan and would promote tiatrs of Roseferns, John D’Silva, Rosario Rodrigues, William de Curtorim, Wilmix/Sharon in Bahrain. Tavares is all set to stage his forthcoming tiatr, ‘Bhurgim Kiteak Somzonant’, in the summer of 2019, with shows already planned in USA, Canada, UK, Dubai, Kuwait and Paris. With the great response he received for his past productions, he expects better response in the near future from his tiatr fans and well-wishers abroad.
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