Author: Sanath WeerasuiryaSource: Sundat Times Mirroe Magazine
'Charitha Hathak', a popular stage creation by Wilson Gunaratne will be staged at Elphinstone theatre on March 18 at 3.30 and 6.30 pm.
Described as the "Comedy of the Millennium" (Two Two Hours with Ko Ko Kodi), "Charitha Hathak" is directed by Wilson Gunaratne, while the scriptwriter is Chandratilak Gunaratne and co-producer is Ramani Fonseka.
'In western countries the actors are given a chance to play more than a single character. But in Sri Lanka it is not a common practice. Once Shivaji Ganeshan acted nine characters in 'Nawa Raathri'. That was a film and nobody has done anything more than double acting in local films', Wilson said.
I was always looking for a chance to create this type of drama. I'm having 65 different voices in my voice bank. It is just not luck but hard training, studying and practice,' have gone into it he explained.Wilson was a hotelier now turned actor.
"I am a professional actor now. I'm really happy because I have a vision. I have a message for the society in 'Charitha Hathak.'
You must give suitable positions to suitable people in the society. But unfortunately we do the reverse. Most of the top places go to unqualified personnel,' he explained.
'It is time to correct ourselves. That is what I'm trying to say in this drama. The message is given with humour,' he added.
'Charitha Hathak' has completed 37 shows within eight months, since its opening.
This is a unique presentation and certainly would be the newest experience for the drama lovers in Sri Lanka. This is the only stage play in Sri Lanka at present in which one actor portrays seven characters on the stage.
Kodituwakku from "Nonava-runi Mahatvaruni" Pappa, Prof. Pragnaratne, Transport Teacher Mr. Bastian, Prof. Marenzie (Italian) are among the seven characters. Also the cast includes Ramani Fonseka, Susil Perera, Premaratne Tennakoon. The versatile actor Wilson Gunaratne is using seven different voices with the appropriate costumes and make-up brilliantly to portray the above seven characters.
The story rotates around an aircraft which has been grounded on the runway. The pilot and administrator are unsuccessful in their efforts to get it airborne.
The uneasy passengers are looking forward to a smooth and trouble-free journey as they have been promised by 'Dreamland' Airways.
The pilot and crew members are unable to fulfil the passengers' expectations.
The pilot and the administrator do not give up their efforts in getting the aircraft airborne.
In this process, the ultimate result becomes not only a tragedy but also a comedy.