Await the return of The Dictator
Scene from the play
The stage play ‘The Dictator’ written by H.C.N de Lannerolle and
E.M.W. Joseph is a vintage Ceylonese classic that came alive on the
boards of the Namel and Malini Punchi Theatre in Borella from October 21
to 25. Directed by the veteran theatre practitioner Namel Weeramuni, the
play, which I believe, is very relevant to our present climate as a
hilarious comedy that carries a significant message, proved to be a
Theatregoers will surely delight on learning that the Punchi Theatre
will have another three -day show run of this delightful stage play in
I met up with the director at his residence, on the third floor of
the Punchi Theatre building, early last week to find out about the
upcoming show and what the response was like for the debut run last
“The responses have been very good, and very encouraging I must
admit,” Weeramuni said with his characteristic conviviality, adding that
one of the most noteworthy responses he had got had come from Arun Dias
Referring to the veteran broadcaster who had apparently watched the
play and had found it to be remarkably entertaining, Weeramuni likened
Bandaranaike’s response to a very heart-warming gesture. “Arun very
thoughtfully sent me a two-page letter after watching the play. In it he
spoke very well of the whole production, and especially praised the
performance made by Waraks,” Weeramuni said referring to the renowned
actor of the screen and stage –Wijerathne Warakagoda, who plays the lead
role of ‘Ralahamy’ in ‘The Dictator’.
Director of the play Namel Weeramuni
Declaring ‘The Dictator’ to be the first Ceylonese vintage play he
had directed, Weeramuni disclosed that the first play he had watched
directed by Lannerolle was –‘He comes from Jaffna’, which incidentally
was written by E.F.C Ludowyke. “I saw it at the Lionel Wendt in either
1955 or ’56, I can’t recall exactly which year, but it was during that
period,” he said, elaborated that later he had watched ‘Well Mudaliyar
How?’ the riotous comedy written and directed by Lannerolle. The
experience had made a deep impression on him.
Ceylonese vintage plays are a genre of their own. The sense of satire
and wit they carry together with the critique they offer of a bygone era
provide much ground to explore society and its transitions from then, to
now. It is therefore truly a reason to celebrate that these plays are
once again finding colour, form, voice and motion on the boards of
“I may do a few things to enhance the production in the upcoming run.
And I might do some new things with the character of the ‘Kattadiya’,”
revealed Weeramuni with a chuckle, since the character of the occultist
offers the means to add an additional dimension of entertainment that is
very theatrical to the viewer. When asked what plans he has for this
production in the days ahead, he said he is very much interested in
offering special shows to schools at special concessionary rates in
order to help popularise this genre of stage plays among schoolchildren.
But as of present, preparations and rehearsals are underway and the cast
is getting into gear to once again bring to life ‘The Dictator’ at the
Punchi Theatre on the December 2, 3 and 4 to the delight of theatregoers.
Fun times With Wilson Gunaratne’s Charitha Atak
stress free evening
*“Laughter is a powerful antidote for stress, pain and conflicts”
*Nothing works faster to bring your mind and body back into balance
than a good laugh. Humour lightness your burdens, instills hopes and
connects you with others. ‘Observe and experiment’
Wilson Gunaratne’s ‘Charitha Atak’ Political comedy (the newest
version) with a short speech about the benefits of laughter by Dr.
Damith Hettiarachchi will go on boards at the Bishop’s Auditorium
(Colombo 2), at 6.30 p.m. today, (November 22)
‘Charitha Atak’ is the only stage play in Sri Lanka in which one
actor portrays eight different characters with eight different voices.
It’s not an easy task to create a political satire. The creator should
be well conversant with the political culture, statement made by
politicians from time to time, their endless promises, their
idiosyncrasies, strengths, weaknesses and last but not least the creator
should not only be witty but also gutty. The international acclaimed
actor Wilson Gunaratne meets these specifications.
The play has been organized by HNB Retired Employees Association in
aid of the Critical Illnesses Fund.
Tickets will be available at the Bishop’s Auditorium Counter from 12
noon onwards today.
For further details contact 0722251865 or
0710351865 or E-mail
‘Maname’ at the Wendt
Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra’s iconic 'Maname' stage play will go
on boards at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7, at 3.30 and 7.00 p.m.
on December 4. The stage play is being organised by Jude Srimal and
tickets are available only at Lionel Wendt Theatre (All seats have been
Two special shows of ‘Balloth Ekka bae’, the hilarious comedy written
and directed by Ravindra Ariyarathne will be staged on Saturday,
November 28, at 3.30 and 6.45 p.m. at the Kotte St. Thomas College New
Theatre and Sunday, December 6, at 3.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. at the Lionel
Wendt Theatre – Colombo 7.
With a host of popular artiste including, Wijaya Nandasiri, Kumara
Thirimadura, Roshan Pilapitiya, Gihan Fernando, and Ferny Roshini, the
play has Shantha Peiris and Luvoline Vandawall adding the extra touch
with their music composition and background creations. Stage management
is by Sumedha Prasanna.
Jude Srimal is the main organizer of the drama. Tickets for the Kotte
show is available at Sarasavi Book Shop-Nugegoda, Sakya Book Shop-
Battaramulla, Ola Book Shop-Thalawathugoda at the gates. Tickets for the
Lionel Wendt Show (all seats are box planed) and available only at the