Maach is a folk drama form performed in Madhya Pradesh
. This art form is believed to have originated some 300 years ago in Rajasthan
. It is currently found only in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh.
The plays in Maach are based either on historical, social or religious themes. The performance starts with an opening ritual, which includes the rendition of a hymn, called ‘bhisti raag’ followed by a song and dance sequence called ‘bhisti -farrasan samvad.’ This song and dance sequence introduces the drama. Though the stories may vary in each play, the central characters always remain the same. Every play contains a humorous character called ‘bidhab or ‘shermarkhan’, who is the adviser to the central figure, usually a king.