The rambunctious: Bengal Bungalow!
On September 10, the boards of the Wendt bore some heavy duty mayhem
as Jehan Aloysius's Bengal Bungalow boomed to life with pervasive
vivacity. Works such as these are a credit to the Sri Lankan theatre,
bringing to life original scripts in English that are praiseworthy crowd
pleasers. Bengal Bungalow is a hilarious riot of a comedy set in the
days of the British Raj aka Colonial British India, written and directed
by a Sri Lankan!
In my opinion, Bengal Bungalow is an admirably scripted and deftly
played 'farce' that can stand shoulder to shoulder with a Ray Cooney
comedy without any qualms. One could argue, what Aloysius presents
through this work is theatre set on a formula based on the European
'farce' genre. As a counterpoint to such a take, one may say, following
a formula to reach a successful outcome is no mean task. The art of the
recipe is for both emulation and constructive deviation towards
innovation. I would venture to say, Aloysius grasped the 'farce
formulae' to bake a cake that can deliver its own flavour.
Stagecraft was remarkably good, of a convincing realist theatre mode
and truly an aspect to be celebrated. Costumes were attractive and
commendable, deserving special mention and applause.
The visual facet of the performance together with the aforementioned
aspects was further heightened with a scheme of physical motion that
unfolded on stage. There was thus in this work a notable dose of
dynamism at play to deliver the 'action' as the storyline progressed.
The two Indian servants Rama and Rahul played by Michael Jayawardana and
Prabhath Dhevindra, respectively, displayed some hearty acrobatics that
enhanced the fabric of performance. They were among a host of other
facets, demonstrative of the directorial skill that wove the performance
of Bengal Bungalow.
There is no doubt that every actor on stage that evening delivered a
performance worthy of applause. The symmetry of acting talent on stage
didn't show severe disparities, which thus stands to add to the
directorial credit. However, I do believe Patrick De Kretser who played
the pompously colonial and bogus chivalry of Charles made a striking
impact and drew much ardour worth citing. On the matter of citing the
more notable performances of Nadun Dissanayake, even with his face
covered with a ski mask, managed to steal most of the spotlight, playing
the 'Bengal bandit'. His stage acting skills are exceptional.
From what I have seen of his performances in No Sex Please We Are
British, Grease Yaka, and Dracula, this young actor evinces innate
talent that one hopes will attract callings from quarters, far and
diverse in the sphere of acting.
The cast of Bengal Bungalow consisted of Michael Jayawardana,
Prabhath Dhevindra, Shehan Wijemanne, Anabella Brochard, Patrick De
Kretser, Julian Anderson, Roshane Jayampathy, Nandun Dissanayake, Jordan
Bryan, Tayhani Kannangara, and Reihan Stephen. It is with much pleasure
that I, as a viewer who sat in the balcony under the gentle darkness
that evening, offer hearty applause and salute the cast and crew who
brought to life Bengal Bungalow. I would say without reservation this is
a show well worth your money, and time, and a must see for theatre
Stagecraft was remarkably good and of a convincing realist theatre
mode... umes were attractive and commendable...
Maraka Linde Savariyak
(A trip in the Well of Death)
The award winning Sinhala stage play Maraka Linde Savariyak (A trip
in the Well of Death) will go on the boards at the Moratuwa OLV Convent
on 1 October at 3.30pm and 6.30pm. A hilarious and thoughtprovoking
political play written and directed by Chalaka Ranasooriya, it features
in its cast acclaimed actors such as, Malkanthi Jayasinghe, Jagath
Chamila, Umayangana Wickremasinghe, Lanka Bandaranayake.
Nethuwa Beri Minihek returns to the Wendt
Following its critically acclaimed premiere in early September,
Rajitha Dissanayake's latest play, Nethuwa Beri Minihek (A Man Much
Needed) returns to the Lionel Wendt Theatre on October 2 at 7.00 pm.
Nethuwa Beri Minihek revolves around the family of Jayantha, a
Sinhala nationalist businessman who enjoyed close ties with the previous
regime, and worries for his future in the transformed political climate.
Jayantha's son returns from London with a Tamil friend who is in search
of his mother who went missing during the war. Meanwhile, Jayantha's
daughter is trying to make contact with her estranged mother, who left
when she and her brother were toddlers. Nethuwa Beri Minihek depicts the
ultimate fate of these individuals, who embark on a quest for lost power
The music design is by Kapila Poogalarachchi and make-up by Priyantha
Dissanayake. The lighting is by Ranga Samarakoon and costume design by
Nalin Lusena and Samadara Mabulage. Vijith Nuwan and Nalin Lusena are
the stage managers.
Tickets for Nethuwa Beri Minihek are now available at the Lionel
Wendt Theatre and online at www.lionelwendt.org (with home delivery).
'Full Face' cinema discussion on Motor Bicycle
A discussion on Shameera Rangana Naotunna's film Motor Bicycle will
be held on September 28 at the National Film Corporation Theatre from
3.00pm. The discussion is organized by the Independent Cinema Movement.
W. Jayasiri will moderate the discussion addressed by Ajith Galappaththi,
Boopathy Nalin Wickramage and K. K. Saman Kumar. Entrance is free.