Finally, Tiatrs have restarted after a break of 18 months. The tiatr aficionados rushed to Margao to watch their popular form of entertainment that has commenced on stage at the Ravindra Bhavan Margao, commending the restarting of tiatr as a welcome step in the right direction.
This tiatr has no story in the right sense of the term but is a political satire of the present-day political happenings in the State of Goa. Each ‘pordo’ is an awakening episode with a negative critical appraisal of the happenings in the State and also a clear message to kick out existing MLA’s, and elect new faces. Though the tiatr lacks a decent storyline, the presentation of the happenings makes the proceedings interesting to watch. However, the proceedings of the tiatr seem to be propaganda for a new political outfit that has made inroads in Goa during the past year or so.
The script has no story running throughout. The form of writing is neither of a tiatr nor a non-stop drama but is presented as a tiatr. Comedy at times is part of the plot but most of the time it has nothing to do with the plot. The script has good ‘cantos’; beautiful lyrics set to melodious catchy tunes. The reasoning and justifications provided, however, were out of sync and illogical most of the time.
The tiatr has a powerful cast but unfortunately, the exaggerated style of acting by some artistes was a dampener. Peter de Benaulim and Roshan as husband and wife were very natural and their dialogue delivery had good voice modulation. A new entrant, acting as their daughter, was also very impressive. The other family of the Minister enacted by Santana Pegado and his two sons - Franky Gonsalves and Benzer Fernandes were probably in a hurry to claim the title of the ‘best over-acting actor’ and then Franky Gonsalves carries the trophy. Sheena Gracias was natural and adorable in her role as the daughter-in-law.
The band was punchy and dished out good music. The music was soothing to the ears. The tiatr has a well-composed beautiful opening chorus, sung in great style and poise by the upcoming Sheena Gracias. Her voice modulation coupled with her great dressing sense and a pleasing personality was a treat to watch. There was one duet by Peter Roshan which was rendered well. A duo by two young new girls was well sung. The remaining were solos. The Director's decision to bring in new singing talents paid dividends as all singers, though new, created a pleasant listening to the audience. The comedy solo by Masterwin on the tunes of the English song Macarena was nice and punchy. The tiatr features beautiful cantos which are nicely composed and well sung too.
The tiatr has great laughing moments. Comedian Sally Brian and Richard along with a new girl collaborate well to tickle the funny bone. However, the comedy gets distasteful and disgusting on two counts - vulgarity and body shaming. A lot of comedy innuendos are overtly and covertly vulgar/below the belt. When tiatrs are watched by the entire family, the presence of vulgarity is a nuisance to the viewers, and we could hear murmurings on this count in the audience. Making fun of a female on account of her obesity too is unwelcoming and needs condemnation.
There is no direction visible in the tiatr but the individual excellence by each artiste saves the day. The director's contribution was missed more because of the overacting by some seasoned artistes.
A question needs to be pondered upon. Tiatr has a full-fledged Academy and the government is spending a lot of money on the functioning and schemes of the Academy. Shouldn’t the Tiatr Academy of Goa step in to stop the rot of vulgarity in tiatrs? The members of the Academy need to deliberate on this and find a solution to this menace. Today, Tiatr has restarted; but alas… with vulgar comedy!