November 15, 2017
Don Bosco Hall, Mangaluru, witnessed a houseful show of a Konkani play 'Konni Sama Nanth' on October 29.
It was an exemplary exhibition of rich talent, in-depth acting skills, a package of wholesome entertainment, and rightly had the spectators glued to their seats till the final curtain was pulled to conclude – Sakkad Sama Asath.
(Konkani Natak Sabha celebrated its 74th Annual Day, as the stage programme was given a start at 5.45 pm, which included their report, honoring and recognition of eminent theater personalities for their manifold services especially to drama for decades, in Dolphy Saldanha, Eddie Sequeira and Theresa Sequeira popularly known as Minna Ruzai. All the above took around 70 minutes).
The much-awaited runaway success with 117 shows, in Kundapur Kannada – 'Yaroo Sama Illa' and half a dozen presentations in Konkani at and around Brahmavar and Kundapur, was now enacted by renowned artistes of Mangaluru and around.
It is the story of an elderly couple Gaspar and Lucy – enacted by Cyril Mondrel, and Nisha D’Souza Valencia respectively, who lost hearing abilities due an unfortunate accident, about 20 years ago. They have a son played by Joel D’Souza, has just completed his MCom studies, and is awaiting his final results. He is helped by the rich landlord Mark (Dolphy Saldanha) who lives next door in his bungalow with his lonely daughter, played by Deepti Permannur, and a domestic servant Incha, played by Abraham Ranipura.
The curtain raises with the entry of two bachelors, Gerald and Thomas (Alwyn Veigas and Sunil Bajal) doing petty jobs in a hotel, pretending to be from well-to-do families, interestingly having Facebook accounts, who, as Tom and Jerry, though were refused earlier, get accommodated due to influence, rather their proximity to Deepti, as net friends. The hilarious moments and the witty conversations are enjoyable, and when it comes to the elderly deaf couple, it makes the audience laugh, cry, regret and refresh with the flow of dialogues with all the understanding / misunderstanding.
The whole story takes place in the common courtyard of three houses, a beautiful set arranged by Allwyn Bajal and team.
There were other characters too in Monthu (Felix Lasrado Permanoor), the panchayat member, a social worker neglecting his own family affairs, in general, and not able to finance his only daughter Laila's (Maria D’Souza Kalakul) education in particular.
Here and there appears Challenge Charlie (Shaun), an auto rickshaw driver full of life and action. It’s the special role of the cable operator that makes the audience curious with the suspense it carries till the very end of the play.
Coming to the performance of core roles, I happened to watch the playwright Alwyn Andrade and his real life partner Sujatha to perfection, in Brahmavar, as Gaspar and Lucy, who had enormous scope for acting; apart from lighter moments, they had to convey a strong message to the society. Here at Don Bosco Hall both Cyril and Nisha tried to live up to the standards, and Nisha was very lively on stage. Their timing, body language, reactions and facial expressions were praiseworthy. Occasionally Cyril missed the dialogues but it was not noticed by the new audience. Episodes of repeated cooking of valchi bhaji, eating of mosquito coil presuming to be chakli, irritation over paying Rs 100 as bribe for ration card and other well woven incidents would have made the drama still more effective! Hardships of life, not only understanding and communicating with each other, but also in dealing with society, their day to day requirements were interspersed with humour and emotions in equitable dosage.
Somewhere, I felt, the introvert son's actions and reactions needed more effectiveness. Emotions were not spontaneous, whereas Deepti, the landlord's daughter who expressively likes him, speaks more through her eyes, voice modulations and expressions too which are noteworthy. Veteran actor Dolphy Saldanha was at ease on stage, his manly voice, handsome looks well suited to his role and throughout the play, kept his dignity in tact.
Two bachelors in Thomas and Gerald, rather Tom and Jerry, performed very well. Both grip over the plot and grit and confidence contributed well to the smooth flow of events. Cook-cum-domestic servant Inas done justice to the ordinary sense, however if one happens to see Prakash Shetty in this role, its altogether a different experience.
All drama lovers know, it’s the art of telling the story through the speech and actions, performed by characters in the story that matters, and in general all the twelve artists were successful in impersonating the characters well.
All the three female roles, which need a special mention, were enacted very well. Mark, Challenge Charlie, cable operator, and Tom and Jerry will be remembered for the lively performance.
Panchayat member Monthu, cook Inas and Gaspar could have contributed a little more, as there was scope for a still better acting in these characters. The audience had a feast of non-stop laughter, at times there were thought provoking or introspective moments, with pure dialogues, crispy comic situations and conversations, and no one crossing the limit or overacting, all of which made the play a runaway success.
The packed hall till the end spoke volumes of the success story of playwright Alwyn Andrade, Barkur, King of Comedy Dolla Nandigudda for his directorial skills, well suited stage setting by Alwyn Bajal, Satish Suratkal's mild and suitable music. All of them had their own share in the success story of 'Konni Sama Nanth', one of the most memorable plays to be remembered for days / months to come.