It is difficult to believe that a comic trio can achieve such popularity that they become one of the primary attractions of a place. But this is absolutely true when it comes to the Moustache Brothers. They are a comic trio from the Burmese city of Mandalay and are famous for their live performances that include classic Burmese dance, screwball comedy and satires on the military regime in the country.
The group was originally formed by U Par Par Lay, Lu Maw and U Lu Zaw. While Lu Maw and Par Par Lay were brothers, the third member of their group Lu Zaw was their cousin.
Apart from their entertaining performances, the Moustache Brothers were in the news for other reasons as well. Lay and Zaw were sentenced to a labor camp for seven years for criticizing the government in one of their acts. The performance took place at Aung San Suu Kyi’s residence in Rangoon in 1926. Apart from the Moustache Brothers, people who were responsible for organizing the show were also arrested and sentenced for a similar period of time. The campaign for their release was led by Amnesty International. Given their house arrest regulations, they were allowed to perform in front of foreigners and that too within the confines of the garage at their Mandalay residence.
The police arrests continued as U Par Par Lay was once again arrested by the government in September 2007 and released in November 2007. He continued to perform till his death on August 2013. The other two brothers continue to perform even to this day.