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Spotlight on the ‘Nobodies’

The Mustard Seed Art Company’s new play ‘Famous Nobodies’  which will have its first show on September 6 in Aldona, focuses on the better halves of famous individuals, discovers NT BUZZ


It all began with a conversation. A while ago, someone happened to mention to playwright Isabel Santa Rita Vaz and founding member of the theatre group Mustard Seed Art Company, that a series of plays based on Kasturba Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s wife) was going to be staged in Pune. This piqued her curiosity about Kasturba. “I became interested in who she was and why she mattered. Did she have any role at all to play or was she just a second fiddle?” she discloses.

Vaz then began thinking about other larger than life figures and their significant better halves. “I began wondering if they really had a choice at all or just had to remain in the shadow of these greats,” she says.

And slowly the idea for a new play ‘Famous Nobodies’ began to take shape. The new act which has been scripted by Vaz comprises of a cast of 12 and begins in a wax museum. The museum is all set to be taken over by new management which seeks to get rid of all the statues of what they consider to be underachievers. The woman who is presently in charge of the museum is given 24 hours to do this task and she decides to ferry (the ferryman’s name is Charon) a select few including that of Marilyn Monroe (wife of playwright Arthur Miller), Eva Braun (wife of Adolf Hitler) and Kasturba Gandhi to an island park called the Second Fiddle Park. A little refugee boy who takes shelter at the museum is also part of the mix.

A close knit group, the Mustard Seed Art Company which was founded in 1987 has over the years delivered splendid plays like ‘Hold up the sky’, ‘When the Day was Young’ and ‘All Those Pipe Dreams’. United by their love for theatre, the group has members coming from places as far as Margao and Chinchinim just to be a part of these plays.

In fact Kimberly Gomes stays as a paying guest in Panaji during this period. And she can’t wait for show day. “I play the glamorous role of Marilyn Monroe. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that I would do this. Although I have previously participated in plays in school and college, this has got to be the most challenging of all and I now have a new found respect for her,” she says.

Ariedon Gomes on the other hand, who will be playing the flute for the play, believes that he has found a place for himself at this company. “I was never considered for dance performances before. Here however I have not only been accepted but have also had a chance to grow,” he says.

Apart from the three shows at Aldona, Margao and Panaji, the group is hoping to have a few more shows later if things fall into place.


(Famous Nobodies will be staged on September 6 at Quitula, Aldona; on September 7 at GVN, Margao; and on September 9 at the Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji. Tickets are available at Martin Lobo Supermarket, Aldona; Magsons, Fatorda; and Furtado’s, Navelcar Arcade, Panaji.)

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