life to death
By Risidra Mendis
A good response towards Sanda Langa Maranaya, the Sinhala version of
Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding has encouraged
Kaushalya Fernando to stage the play once again.
The play is one of the most famous
trilogies based on Spanish society and written by Lorca in response
to a newspaper article concerning a local murder in rural Spain.
"Lorca is probably the most celebrated dramatist in Spain and
according to theatre critics and academics one of the most poetic
playwrights of the 20th Century," says Fernando.
According to Fernando, Sanda Langa
Maranaya is basically a love story, which revolves around three
youthful characters. "The production style of the play is semi
musical, surrealistic type that blends intense acting on stage with
choreographed movements, music and song, vivid lighting and
costumes," explains Fernando.
The play is able to address the
intellect of the audience with a strong sense of aesthetics. In
short it is meaningful entertainment for the whole family. The
professional theatre group of Play House, Kotte, which was founded
by Somalatha Subasinghe in 1979 to promote theatre in Sri Lanka,
takes part in the leading and supporting roles, in addition to
veteran stage actors such as Lucien Bulathsinghala and Subasinghe.
Sanda Langa Maranaya was well received
by the audience when it had its premier performance in November
2004. According to many theatre critics, it is a stunning and
elegant play. The play has now succeeded in setting new standards in
Sri Lankan theatre. "This is the right kind of play for those
who look for meaningful entertainment and for those who want to have
an enchanting evening with their loved ones," Fernando said.
The February performance of the play is
organised by Anoja Weerasinghe's Abhinaya School of Acting. "Weerasinghe's
objective is to promote good theatre in Sri Lanka by way of
organising performances in and around Colombo. The income generated
will be utilised for the benefit of her students at her acting
school," explained Fernando.
According to Fernando, Chamila Peries,
Wishvajith Gunasekera and Prasanna Mahagamage the new generation of
performing artistes who are groomed at the Play House in Kotte, give
life to the three main youthful characters that are wrapped up in
the triangle of love.
Other characters include Nadee
Kammallaweera, Suresh Fernando, Nayomi Gunasiri, Lakmini Seneviratne,
Sharmaine Gunaratne, Mayura Kanchana, Sanjaya Hettiarachchi,
Champika Kannangara, Ishara Wickramasena, Thilokaneee Gunasekera and
a number of newcomers to the national theatre who were groomed at
the Play House.
Lorca's Blood Wedding is translated by
Fernando and Kammallaweera while Nadeeka Guruge composed the music.
Choreography is by Chandana Aluthge, stage sets and properties by
Namal Jayasinghe, make up by Sumedha Hewawitharana and stage
management by Anura Jayasena.
Blood Wedding, will be held on February
6 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre at 6.30p.m.
The origin of the story, Gal
Pilimaya Saha Bol Pilimaya
is based on a visit to Gal Viharaya by Gunadasa Amarasekera
in 1986 where he saw a new statue modeled on the original Gal
Pilimaya placed next to it and people worshiping at it.
By that time the dharmista samajaya
ushered in 1977 had lost its glamour, the writer thought what he saw
was symbolic of the age of the counterfeit. This sets the background
for this piece of writing.
Reading this allegorical tale today the
reader is bound to ask whether in the period after as well as
before, right from our independence, this nation has thrived on
counterfeiting and the worship of false gods.
In the teledrama Gal Pilimaya Saha Bol
Pilimaya, Upali is an ordinary villager appointed to look after the
Gal Pilmaya, who makes a sincere effort to expose the counterfeit
and safeguard the sanctity of the true image. Regrettably Upalis'
effort, though sincere and heroic, is fruitless. However, it is his
son Wimalasena's generation that ultimately destroys the counterfeit
by blasting it. In the process Wimalasena's friend gets killed and
there begins Wimalasena's trauma as he turns into a psychiatric
patient. But it is his dead friend who comes to his rescue as he
appears to Wimalsena in a hallucinatory dream to assure that his
death is no hindrance of his mission.
The teledrama is based on the novel Gal
Pilimaya Saha Bol Pilmaya written in 1987 and its sequel Pilima
Lovai Piyavi Lovai written in 2001.
Supported by a cast of talented actors,
versatile actor Jayalath Manoratne plays the role of Upali. The
teledrama is directed by Christie Shelton Fernando and is produced
by Ranjith K. Perera of Winson films.
However, the producer's view of the
teledrama is that this production would usher in a salutary trend in
Musica's tsunami concert
Following their first concert in November 2004, spanning four centuries of
choral music, the Camerata Musica Chamber Choir is preparing a major
concert to honour the tsunami dead and to collect funds for the
relief of survivors.
Adam Smyth, at one time a Choral
Scholar of Magdalen College Oxford, will rehearse the Camerata Choir
and conduct its performance of Purcell's profoundly moving Funeral
Music For Queen Mary of 1695, scored for choir, trombones and
Lalanath de Silva, formerly conductor,
Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and currently resident in Geneva,
will be the guest conductor in Mozart's Magnificent Requiem with a
full classical orchestra and four soloists. It was Mozart's last
work and was written on his death-bed.
The concert will be on Easter Saturday,
March 26th at St. Michael's Church, Kollupitiya. Rehearsals have
just begun and there are vacancies in all voices for committed
singers - call Dr. Selvie Perera on 2699499.
in tsunami concert
Friends-in-Harmony, and Channa Upuli Art Foundation, will perform in a
concert organised by the Alumni Association, Colombo University for
the tsunami victims.
The evening's programme will consist of
music and dance from the two famous groups, Friends-in-Harmony, a
group of professionals who have got together for the love of music
and Channa Upuli, the famed dance ensemble who performed at the
Sydney Opera House recently.
All artistes are performing free of
charge to raise maximum funds for this worthy cause.
The concert will take place at the New
Town Hall, Green Path on February 20 at 6.30p.m.
Tickets are available at the University
of Colombo - College House and British Council.
photos urgently needed
The Mihimandala Organisation is
organising `a before and after tsunami' exhibition for the
public. Organisers of Mihimandala kindly request the public to send
before and after event black and white or coloured photographs of
the recent tsunami disaster. Photos should be to the size of 4 X 6.
The selected entries will have to be
enlarged according to a decision taken by the Mihimandala
Organisation. Those sending entries should mention their name,
address, telephone and fax number along with their photographs.
Photo entries should be sent to
Mihimandala, P O Box 7, Sri Jayewardenapura, Kotte.