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Sunday, 8 November 2009

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Tragi-comic musical on Colombo dwellers

The award winning dramatist Indika Ferdinando's latest Sinhala language theatre production, "Colombo Colombo" is to go on the boards at the John De Silva Memorial Hall on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.

'Colombo Colombo' is a play based on four incidents that take place at four different locations within the city of Colombo. These incidents involve four pairs of lovers and conclude with a dilemma that no longer allows them to accept each other's presence in their life. At the root of these events, we discover socio-political and ethical influences that determine the unhappy predicament of these couples.

A scene from “Colombo Colombo”

Although these incidents take place in four different locations in Colombo, they represent the issues prevalent in every corner of this Island. 'Colombo Colombo' attempts to look critically at some of the influences that transform human relationships and lead them into conflict; the social and political system that constantly infiltrates those human relationships; and the collective indifference with which the public nurtures the system that severely influences their lives.

'Colombo Colombo' is a tragi-comic musical play and an experimental theatre endeavour that consists of a compilation of independent scenes and does not conform to a linear story line. However, the scenes are cohesively linked by the appearances of several significant characters that are common to all the events.

Another important aspect of this play is the use of the guitar and the human body as musical instruments, while the actors collectively play the roles of musician, singer and dancer. At times, 'Colombo Colombo' takes a stab at transcending reason and reality. It is fast-paced, theatrical, and bursting with energy. It attempts to tap into the imagination and create a fresh theatre experience for the Sri Lankan audience.

Saumya Liyanage, one of the incomparable actor in Sri Lankan theatre plays the key role in 'Colombo Colombo' and Anasuya Subasinghe, Jagath Chamila, Atula Jayasinghe, Sarath Karunaratne, Upul Weerasinghe, Thilanka Gamage and Nadika Somathilake are taking part at the play.

'Colombo Colombo' is a work for the theatre which addresses modern day issues faced by Colombo dwellers. Its protagonists are four couples caught up in their own personal experiences at four different locations. A tragi-comedy by nature, it brings in a novel aspect of theatre performance, with the physical form of the guitar being used both as a musical instrument and also as a character in the play. The drama also brings together versatile set designer Pradeep Chandrasiri who has won the State Drama Award for Set Design for several consecutive years, as well as Thushan Dias as Lighting Designer, backed by many years of experience and a range of productions to his credit in both the Sinhala and English stage. His lighting design includes Workshop Players' Productions of Les Miserables and Lion King, Jehan Allociaus's Ritual and Pyramus and Thisby and Steve de la Zilva's Equus.

The drama is presented by Theatre Plus, which was formed as an experimental platform for theatre practitioners and looks into various aspects of theatre production and related research. Its membership consists of experienced theatre practitioners and academics and works with a sound practical orientation.

 

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