Sunday, July 12, 2009

My ‘tiatristponn’ in Bahrain

My ‘tiatristponn’ lay dormant in me for over two decades. Just like Kuwait
tiatrists, I began my ‘tiatristponn’ in Bahrain, as a ‘Partist’, from 1973
to 1980. I had saved some handbills of tiatros I acted in and left them at
home but my wife doesn’t seem to find them; perhaps, they got misplaced.
I got my first break through Zefferino Silveira (from Calangute) in his
tiatr “SIRVIDOR.” Actually, I was assigned a prompter’s job but suddenly
the main ‘partist’ who was doing bhattkar’s/father’s role backed out. This
is where Zefferino asked me to do the role which I did with great

Zefferino used to be the make-up man for Bombay tiatrists until he came to
Bahrain. He is also the person who presented a “Zagor-cum-tiatr” with
gumttam-madhiim-kansaiim on the stage in Mapusa in the early 1980’s. I
learned through Jessie Dias, the stage actress from Anjuna, last May that
Zefferino is now in England. Zefferino, if you read this message and if you
remember any names of the tiatros I acted in Bahrain, please let me know or
you may post them on Goanet.

I was next booked by the late Vincent de Saligao for the hero’s role in one
of his dramas in which his daughter, Luiza de Saligao, was the heroine; she
also acted with me as a heroine in one more tiatro – sorry I can’t remember
the names. Luiza, if you read this message in Singapore, please let me know
the names of the tiatros we acted together or you may post them on Goanet.

I played a variety of roles in dozens of tiatros in Bahrain during the
above-mentioned period. Miss Santana from Candolim acted with me as heroine
in most of the tiatros. Mrs. Santana Nunes (w/o Joaquim Nunes - St. Inez –
he was one of the best hockey goalkeepers of the YGSC in the 1970’s,) if you
read this message, please let me know the names of all the tiatros we acted
together in Bahrain or you may post them on Goanet. Martha D’Souza, Maria
Fonseca, Jessie (Mangalorean), Mrs. Blanche Goveia (w/o Jimmy Goveia –
Mangalorean), Lancy Sequeira (Mangalorean singer), John Mendonsa, Luis Frois
of the Gulf Daily News – if you read this message please let me know the
names of tiatros we acted in or you may post them on Goanet.

I was mainly associated with the late Peter-de-Morjim (Peter Mascarenhas,
originally from Morjim but resident of Bandra, Bombay) and Mario Alphonso
from Salcette who I believe is still in Bahrain. Both these gentlemen are
very good actors, comedians, singers, writers, composers and directors.
They presented 2-3 dramas/year under the banner “MM Production” (Mario &
Morjim Production); I acted in all their tiatros. I could recall only two
names “MHOZO PUT” and “VISVAS GHATH” by Peter-de-Morjim. Mario, if you read
this message please let me know the names of all “MM Production” tiatros
that we acted in or you may post them on Goanet.

During my tenure as the General Secretary of the Young Goans Sports Club
(YGSC) - now Young Goans Club (YGC), we brought Bombay professional
tiatrists to Bahrain for the first time. They were: The late Jacinto Vaz,
Mary Vaz, C. Alvares, Betty Fernandes and Remie Colaco; Cyriaco Dias was
already employed in Bahrain. Altogether, we staged 5 tiatros: (1) KEDNAM
UDETOLO TO DIS by C. Alvares, (2) GHORACHEM SUKH by Remie Colaco, (3)
GHOVACHEM GHOR by Jacinto Vaz, (4) FARIKPONN by Cyriaco Dias and (5) another
tiatr by Cyriaco Dias - I don’t remember the name. I played lead roles in
all these dramas.

I also acted in two more professional tiatros in Bahrain - sorry, cannot
recall their names - (1) by the late Bab Peter and (2) by Rico Rod. The
following actors/actresses participated in both the tiatros: Alfred Rose,
Bab Peter, M. Boyer, Ophelia (Babli was just six months old), Antonette,
Fatima, Rico Rod, Titta Pretto, Joe Rose and Seby Coutinho. If I meet any
of these actors barring the first three (M. Boyer cannot speak,) I will find
out the names of those tiatros and post them on Goanet. The late Chris
Perry provided music for both tiatros. Chris was then employed with the
Moon Plaza Hotel in Juffair.

I acted only once in M. Boyer’s tiatr in Mapusa; it was a small role - that
of a doctor. Here again, I cannot recall the name, but surely Joe Rose will
remember it because both of us exchanged dialogues in the scene.

While in Bahrain, I was also closely associated with the Mangalorean
community through the Karnataka Sports Club. The Goan tiatrist fraternity
in Bahrain at the time succeeded in bringing the two communities closer by
staging specially written tiatros with Goan and Mangalorean cast. We
successfully staged four such joint-ventures. In one of the tiatros, the
story was based on Goan-Mangalorean families. The late Baptist Mendonsa
(Mangalorean – was employed with the Gulf Hotel) and the late
Peter-de-Morjim jointly wrote and directed the tiatros. Peter-de-Morjim,
Mario Alphonso and I are the founder members of the Konkan Singers’ Club
(KSC) which was founded by raising funds through tiatros. Cyril D’Souza, a
Mangalorean, was the brain behind the formation of the KSC. He and several
others brought many advertisements which helped us raise funds for the new

Tiatr band players in those days came from the Bahrain Police Band. The
band was headed by the late Custodio Fernandes (rhythm guitarist), late
Cajetan or Cajie Fernandes (drummer & solfist - he wrote solfas for our
tiatros; he played for Bombay professional tiatrists before he came to
Bahrain), Raposo Fernandes (sexaphone), Carlito Fernandes (trumpet; I
believe he still plays for tiatros in Goa and gives music to cassettes/CDs)
and there was another guy who played clarinet – sorry I cannot recall his
name. I will try and visit Carlito when I am in Goa next; I think he lives
in Benaulim. He played music for all the tiatros I acted in; he might
remember some of the names of tiatros.

The entrance fee for a tiatr in Bahrain in the 1970’s was Fils 800 and 500
respectively. The fee of Fils 800 was later raised to BD.1.000.

It was quite difficult in those days to stage tiatros in Bahrain. We mostly
suffered losses but we didn’t give up; we continued to stage tiatros for the
love of Konkani and Goans there. Every time we staged a drama, we had to
pay BD.5.000 as hire charges for “pod’de” (drops.) We came across an artist
- Domnic Viegas from Tivim who painted four drops for us free of charge.
The painting job was carried out on the terrace of late Seby D’Souza’s
residence in Manama. Seby hailed from Navelim. He also was a tiatrist,
writer and director. I acted in one of his dramas.

All tiatros that we staged in Bahrain in the 1970’s were a one-time event.
As such, one had to give his/her best and prove his/her ability in one

It is my desire to give some tiatr performances after I retire my job in two
years time!

Domnic Fernandes
Anjuna/Dhahran, KSA

July 30, 2005

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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.