While the theme of Mama Moshi is relevant, the production needs much fine-tuning

The play “Mama Moshi”, K.V. Subbanna’s Kannada adaptation of the English “The Bourgeois Gentleman” was recently staged by Curtains in Bangalore. Based on French playwright Moliere’s “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”, a satire of the middle class or the Bourgeois, the production was directed by Nataraj Honnavalli.

The script, garnished with romance and comedy, brings into foray issues extremely relevant to our time, employing the technique of satire.

Considering, that the play was enacted by a group of amateur actors, it could be termed a decent effort. The form of the play subscribed to the school of comedy-ballet.

One cannot escape the fact that music, dance, or learning of any kind have ceased to be sanctimonious today. The comfort of a fat purse and the need to learn these art forms — not because one is passionate — but to enhance one’s prestige, or in the case of this play — to acquire the status of a ‘gentleman’, is the motive.


Many loopholes

Unfortunately, the impact of Subbanna’s effective translation of the play was lost on stage, owing to errors committed by the team.

The lack of voice training was evident, as some of the actors mumbled, swallowed, screamed and hurried through most of the dialogues, making it impossible for the audience present to comprehend and respond appropriately.

The movements on stage were quite haphazard and acting was sans energy and force. Abhimanyu, who played the role of the Master of Philosophy, did quite a good job. Coveille, Nicole, and Madame Jourdain’s performances were fair enough, but the howling and screaming of the actor, who played Monsieur Jourdain, was quite irritating.

The actors ought to understand that merely swaying the body does not make for effective body language.

The music, though tuned right for the ball dance sequence, were not matched by graceful movements or stepsthe piece lacked rhythm.

Also, the music was quite loud at certain points in the play. The sets could have been more appropriate.

The performance by the team seemed more like a run-through. Certain improvisations have to be incorporated, before the play is staged the next time.