In the past, Goans would migrate to the Gulf seeking greener pastures. Especially in the ‘80s and ‘90s, places like Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the neighbouring countries were highly sought-after by the Goan community.
The presence of Goans in Gulf countries helped many to earn, make a living, come up in life and support their families back home, in Goa. Many settled in those oil-rich countries, while others returned to their hometown after retirement.
But, in recent years, we have witnessed to a huge chunk of Goans migrating to European countries. And, along with the Goan community, the tiatr fraternity has also paved the way to that distant alien land, seeking greener pastures.
FOR THE LOVE OF TIATR
Due to the presence of many tiatrists in the UK today, live entertainment, especially staging of tiatrs, life has become vibrant there, unlike in the past. And, the majority of Goans are enjoying the presentations which come up in various auditoriums.
In the past, just as tiatrs which were penned and directed by noted Mumbai tiatrists would occasionally make a trip to Goa, likewise tiatrs now staged in European countries will soon be coming to Goa in order to entertain tiatr-lovers in the state.
Over the years, several tiatrs by Goan tiatr directors found entry in the Gulf through various tiatr organisers, and the Goans settled abroad enjoyed them as there was no other live entertainment in those countries.
For Goans abroad, tiatr was, is and will continue to be, the only form of live entertainment. And, after a hectic week at the workplace, the Goan community will definitely look forward to some sort of entertainment. Hence, on holidays, a mad rush to the nearest auditorium is the only option left behind.
Of late, new productions have been mushrooming in the UK from Goan tiatr directors settled there. Some of the tiatrs staged recently went to packed houses.
Comedian Agostinho’s tiatr, Past is Past, and Peter de Merces’ tiatr, Divorcee, received an overwhelming response from the Goan community.
THE UK TIATR SCENE
Earlier, as there was a shortage of singers and actors abroad, a handful of artistes, especially singers and musicians, would be picked up from Goa and they would be added to the existing cast abroad.
But, this trend too is slowly changing now and the entire cast, inclusive of actors and singers, are easily available there and penning and staging shows has become convenient.
Comedian Agostinho’s tiatr, Past is Past, was recently staged at three different venues in the UK, namely Wembley, Southhall and Swindon. It received a good response from the Goan diaspora.
Mathew, Salu de Loutulim, Jesba and Andrea were in the main cast, while comedian Janet, Luis, Swizel and the director were spotted in the comic acts. Nicky, Greg, Anthony, Bunty and Andrew were roped in as singers, and the director now plans to take his show to Reading, Bridgewater, Scotland and Paris.
Comedian Agostinho revealed that he would stage his new production in Goa in the month of January 2024. He said that it was convenient to script and stage his tiatr in the UK as many of his old artistes have already settled in the UK.
“Artistes who were there in my last tiatr, Police, are here with me in the UK,” he said. “And so, it’s easy to rehearse and stage shows.”
“There are only a handful of auditoriums in the UK,” comedian Agostinho sighed. “So, you should expect only limited shows. However, the Goan audience is eager to watch tiatrs as they miss them in these distant lands, with no other form of live Goan entertainment available to them.”
In the month of March, Simon Gonsalves re-staged his earlier Lenten show, Challis Dis ani Challis Rati, at Wembley, Southall and Swindon. The profits drawn were given to Sister Christobel’s Orphanage, UK.
In the month of April, UK-based Peter de Merces released his new tiatr and fourth production, Divorcee, with noted tiatrists of the Konkani stage. Noted singers Lawry Travasso, Anil-Olga were especially flown in from Goa for the show, with auditoriums booked at Wembley, Southall and Swindon.
Plans are afloat to take the same production to Paris as well.
The other tiatrs scheduled in the UK include Comedian Jane and Samuel Carvalho (May 2023), Joe Valent and S Caitan (June 2023), Valerian Vaz and Presley Rodrigues (July 2023), Anthony (Chingu) and Tony Gonsalves (August 2023), Dominic Bicarro (September 2023), Fr Lucas Rodrigues (October 2023), Joe Valent (December 2023).
In 2024, the following tiatr directors will release their new productions in the UK. Babit de Zuari (February), Salu de Loutulim (April), Grina Pereira and Geldo Verdes (May), Dominic Bocarro (June), Presley Rodrigues (September) and Valerian Vaz (October).