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Sammy Tavares’ drama regales Kuwait: A Review

By Gasper Crasto...18/06/2014

Kuwait: Goans in Kuwait are ever thirsty for Konkani shows – more so when the whole troupe comes from Goa. This was evident by the huge turnout for ‘Tim Thikam Sandlelim’, a drama staged at the American International Academy in Kuwait on 13th June 2014 – the feast day of St. Anthony.

There are a number of restrictions and added ‘entertainment fees’ imposed in Kuwait recent years which has seen a decline somewhat of dramas. Having a ‘show’ needs a lot of effort and many a time, organizers suffer huge losses. It is only due to a few hardworking Goans out there who are passionate and care about bringing the best that people are able to see their favorite stars. The drama, featuring ‘a galaxy of selected Goan artistes’ was organized by a team of Indian Arts & Culture club led by Felix de Merces. Other key members of the team included Jesrico Dias, Agnelo Fernandes and Britto Pereira supported by Mr. Domnic Araujo, William D’ Souza, Arun, Agnelo Rebello, Phillip Ferrao, Gladys (Rock Music), Sunny, Adrian Goes, etc.

Ms. Sweet Catherine, Political chief of the US Embassy, was a special invitee at the event. She applauded the efforts of the organizers in bringing the show to Kuwait and entertaining the Goan community. Anthony de Varca, Dubai organizer, and Mr. Tony Gonsalves from UK were also present.

The drama written and directed by Shri Sammy Tavares is a jumbo, attractive production. A lot of people admired the director for giving a ‘mega’ look to the stage by presenting the show with so many ‘high-profile’ star artistes.

Regrettably, Mr. Sammy, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) with the Goa State, who had an impressive start as a playwright with the release of his first professional tiatr in 2013, was unable to travel with the troupe this time after suffering a major setback on the eve of releasing ‘Tim Thikam Sandlelim’. During the final rehearsal at Sanvordem hall, Tavares fell off the stage fracturing his shoulder-joint besides suffering a serious injury to his spine that rendered him unconscious.

Advised bed rest, Tavares is still convalescing at his home. The director who normally sings a couple of solos in his tiatrs was sincerely missed by the Kuwait public who wish him well in a speedy recovery.

All drama pics are of a premier show in Goa: Courtesy JoeGoaUk

‘Tim Thikam Sandlelim’ (Those Lost Pearls) refers to children brought up in orphanages which is a take-home message for the audience.

The plot of the play centres on an orphan girl (Roma) married in a rich family where she finds herself harassed all throughout mainly because of her genetic background. The ending of the drama, astonishingly, doesn’t have much logic. It has neither a tragic nor a sympathetic end as it fails to show justice or defend or save the ‘main character’ from a trauma and death, or discipline, convict the wrongdoers and culprits.

Similarly, the title of the drama has little to do with the main script either. Orphan or ‘Onath’ would be the right title but then, it would easily reveal the subject of the drama.

It is to be noted, of late, most Konkani directors use this trend of having ‘James Hadley Chase’ type titles which has no connection to the storyline whatsoever. Perhaps it is to keep the audience guessing and rooted to their seats till the end to find out the title’s ‘suspense’? One can easily expect this kinda style in 3 out of 5 dramas nowadays -- it’s like watching a football match and expecting a ‘last-ball six’.

Individual brilliance of the artistes

Nevertheless, the drama was interesting with a tale so sad, so tender yet so true. The acts of Felcy and Tari will be much remembered for their superb ‘individual’ performances.

Tari was one actor in the whole drama whose ‘acting’ looked greatly natural while Felcy in the role of a mother demonstrated solid ‘professionalism’ in her dialogues, aristocratic dress-code and style. Her lovely presence on stage during non-dialogue spells was vastly applauded too, while her voice in singing remains unsurpassed for ages now.

Superstar Sylvester Vaz, in his given role, dazzled as usual with fluency, while Kuwait-based Konkani stage thespian Cajetan de Sanvordem played a priest with great taste and perfection, winning hearts of many. Justin’s role as a father was tailor-made and suited the actor much, while the acting of Roma and Mita was as beautiful as their looks.

The drama lacked quality comedy though; it was just ‘run-of-the-mill’, and a total drag at times. However, the sight of John D’Silva, Sally and Comedian Seby was enough to make most in the crowd gag with laughter.

Music, Songs & Singers

The beauty of the show was in the songs. Rocking music by established musician Norman Cardozo and his team Nolvert Cota & Xavier Paklo accompanied by Kuwait’s Denzil on the rhythms should mainly be credited for the splendid show by singers.

Sonia Sirsat and Lawry Travasso were splendid.

There was richness to the stage by Sonia’s glamorous presence, elegance, and ‘flawless’ singing, while Lawry was a ‘class’ above the rest and lived up to everyone’s expectations.

Some of the other top songs were: the ‘Parki’ song by Seby de Divar and Roma, and Sylvester Vaz’s brilliant Konkani-English song on Thomas Dorsey - composer of the famous gospel song ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’.

Aniceto too had beautiful, powerful songs, one with Sonia; while Tari and Sylvester combined in an emotional duo to sing on late Antonette de Calangute and Rosalia Rodrigues, Goan artistes who died untimely deaths, recently.

Ex-Kuwaitkar and popular ‘kantorist’ Marcus Vaz was a disappointment as far as the magnitude of the artiste and expectations of the public are concerned. His effort, with Seby de Divar, to emulate two of the greatest iconic figures Goa has ever produced – Lorna and Chris Perry, was a sheer humiliation to Konkani art and stage. It was a shambolic song – without any substantial message in it.

Goan artistes going abroad must understand that expatriate audiences are hungry for something different. Perhaps the biggest mistake some of our artistes do is to underestimate the audience.

Caje D’Costa from Dubai sang a special song in the drama based on the hard work put in by the Kuwait and Dubai organizers.

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