Tiatr (musical theatre) lovers in Auckland were in for yet another treat recently when the Auckland Konkani Actors staged Gorabo at Freeman’s Bay Community Hall on Saturday, November 4.

The full-house hall was evident of the fact that the lovers of good art are everywhere.

Tiatr is a type of musical theatre popular in the state of Goa on the west coast of India as well as in Mumbai. The popularity has also spread globally with expatriate communities in the Middle East, London and other cities around the world where Konkani speakers have a considerable presence.

The dramas are performed mainly in the Roman Konkani dialects and include a healthy dose of music, dancing and singing.

Gorabo, the 11th Konkani drama in Auckland, is written and directed by Paul Dsouza who himself is a thespian.

The underlying message of Ghorabo was around making time for the important things in life such as family, relationships and love. Quite often in today’s fast-paced world, we forfeit time with our loved ones chasing money or getting side-tracked with our busy careers.

The tiatr drove home this message strongly and very emphatically. The main focus of the play was to encourage and inspire the youth of our community to engage and appreciate their native language and support to conserve and keep it alive in New Zealand.

Gorabo, which means household, explored the importance of family dynamics in our lives and how it is crucial to strike a balance between work and family.

The family is made up of grandparents, Valerine (Iva) Freddy (Francis), their son Terry (Sylvester), his wife Cathy (Carmen)and their daughter Kristina(Rebecca). It simultaneously features Jenny (Nita), Michael (Mario), Stephen (Paul), Balchao (Agnelo), Sorpotel (Issidore).

Terry is a workaholic, along with his boss Jenny, who is obsessed with money, success and power. Hungry for the MD post, Terry neglects his family and is always caught up in his job, and he fails to show his love and concern for his wife Cathy and his daughter Kristina.

In this commotion, Terry and Cathy forget their primary responsibility towards their daughter Kristina, who is nurtured by her grandparents. Kristina battles with her career choices, as her mother wants her to be a doctor, while her father wants her to be an engineer. Meanwhile, Valerine and Freddy are trying to pick up the pieces and extend their support to keep the family together.

Stephen who is Freddy’s friend’s son tries to save the marriage of Terry and Cathy at the request of Freddy and Valerine. Meanwhile, he also has a history with Jenny. Jenny and her step- brother, Michael also have a strained relationship as he left her when she was a child. This makes her bitter towards him.

Agnelo’s opening song and Clifton’s song both had a very important message on the values that strengthen the bonds of a family. Intertwined cleverly were little snippets of local Konkani comedy dominated by the stupefying village idiot. The comedy was written by Goan Comedian Diego and performed by Arca (as Shanti), Diego (as Bhudivont) and Agnelo (as Bhachao). All the three had the crowd wild with laughter.

Both the drama and comedy had a vital message delivered with a great meaningful effect on the Konkani speaking community. It was about striving to keep a work-life balance in a family and to spend quality time with your family members which in turn will enable to strengthen family bonds.

The curtains were finally drawn to the overwhelming applause of the audience. Paul with his cast, musicians and his backstage crew put up an awesome performance that enthralled the audience and had them glued to their seats.

The story revolves around a New Zealand based Goan migrant family. A core team of nearly 13 artists rehearsed for five months to present this powerful and heartrending play.

Director Paul expressed his joy at the audience’s response and satisfaction in the fact that there is still enough appetite for good Konkani theatre amongst the Konkani speaking community in Auckland.

Auckland Konkani Actors is an Auckland based theatre group of amateur actors dedicated to producing good quality Konkani theatre for Auckland audience. They hail from the Konkani speaking regions -of Goa, Bombay, Karwar and Mangalore.

Worthy of an honorary mention was the delectable cuisine prepared by Thereza compromising of Choris Pao, Pork Sorpotel and Chicken Xacutti - providing the complete Goan food experience. If you missed this tiatr, don't sweat - they'll be back bigger and better next year.