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Mogambo Is Back!

By Brinda Khandwala, August 27, 2019, Categories: Edutainment, Entertainment, Featured, Kids, Reviews, Slider

After the stellar success of the musical Mogambo Khush Hua, actor-writer-producer Paresh Nyati and choreographer-actor-producer Nidhi Bhagania bring yet another Bollywood-inspired play Mogambo Double Dhamaal!

On a warm Saturday afternoon, as the doors open to a studio space in Tung Chung, dramatic voices welcome me. Large movements with familiar Hindi dialogues instantly give the ‘filmy’ feel! In one corner a pre-teen boy was diligently memorizing his dialogues. Another was busy with two men in an animated fight scene. Squatted on the floor with the laptop, a gentleman was improvising on the script. While Paresh was positioning the actors with precision, Nidhi was perfecting a dance move. My entry interrupted the on-going climax scene at the rehearsals.

The producer duo took a brief break to indulge me in a quick chat about the upcoming play. “It was Nidhi’s idea to do a Bollywood musical on stage for the Hong Kong audiences,” says Paresh. “So last year we did Mogambo Khush Hua which was based on the story of Mr. India, but with a twist in the end.”

Though titled like a sequel, Mogambo Double Dhamaal promises to be an absolute masala mix, taking inspiration from some Bollywood classics with action, romance, comedy, music and dance! Owing to last year’s success, the theatre group has a bigger team, almost 40 people, this time with a new plot. Though the story is developed entirely by Paresh, the characters are borrowed from Bollywood – all the classic villains from Daga, Robert Bhalla, Lion & Mona, Gogo and of course, Mogambo.

Trained in jazz, contemporary and Latin dances, Nidhi makes the perfect professional partner for Paresh in this Bollywood inspired production. Of course, her innate talent of Indian folk and Bollywood dance also comes in play. “I have been developing the idea of performing musical shows in Hong Kong since years. When I met Paresh and found that he’s in theatre, I spoke to him about it. We enjoy an excellent rapport so it’s a dream team to work with.”

Nidhi feels in some ways it fills the void of Indian cinema in Hong Kong since we don’t have a lot of it here. And no cinema at all in Tung Chung. “Kids get an exposure to Indian cinema. And its also a chance to introduce it to expats.”

With almost no cast member from the theatre or dance background, the duo held several auditions before finalizing the team. “Of course, we had to inform them about the time commitments we expect. And it’s amazing many hours they are putting in to perfect their act,” says Nidhi.

Essentially in Hindi, the synopsis of the play is written in English and handed at the theatre for the non-Hindi speaking audiences. “Of course, being a Bollywood play it needs to be in Hindi but we did have a lot of non-Indian audiences last time who enjoyed the play despite the language barrier because we give them the English synopsis,” he explains.

The cast includes almost 20 children who will be performing dialogues and dance. “Parents are proud that their kids are speaking Hindi,” Paresh laughs. “For so many kids, these 80s classics are something they’ve never seen. But they are enjoying themselves and it’s a way of introducing them to the Bollywood their parents knew.” For the audience too – since its suitable for all ages, the play is a must-watch for children who would like to spend a fun afternoon with a flavor of Bollywood.

The duo is grateful that the small, close-knit Indian community of Hong Kong has always been encouraging and supportive of such events. The response to their last play was overwhelming where they had to accommodate more people than the capacity of the space. And with word of mouth their second show of the first play was also a sellout!

“We are happy to do another show if there is a demand,” says Nidhi.

Without revealing much, the duo promises the play will have everything a typical Bollywood masala movie can offer. We strongly recommend you book your tickets fast.

For tickets call Paresh: 61587104/ Nidhi: 60996627

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Brinda Khandwala

My move to Hong Kong, though sudden, was a smooth one. Essentially a SoBo girl, my desi ties are wrapped quite tightly. But the warm vibe of Hong Kong, it's buzzing nights, the multi-cultural influences and of course, so many Indian friends made it easy to call this home. I’ve been writing all my life – on fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, art and just about everything that infuses colour into my life. Joining the A-Desiflava team is yet another excuse to put together all these passions for sharing with my fellow Hong Kongers!

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