Seasoned actor Jayalath Manoratne is back with what he excels in - stage dramas. The creator of popular stage plays like Puthra Samagama, Thala Mala Pipila, Guru Tharuwa, Andarela, Lokaya Thani Yayak and Makara has staged his 10th play titled Sudu Redi Horu recently. The drama is based on contemporary social issues which are the results of social destruction and follows the structure of our rich literature Sandesha Kavya and the concept of docu-play introduced by reputed dramatist Dayananda Gunawardena to the local drama scene.
“Sudu Redi Horu does not follow the structure of the stage dramas doing the rounds today. The Sandesha Kavya is delivered by certain species of birds and I have chosen to engage a Sudu Redi Hora (Asian Paradise Fly Catcher) for this play.
“The play revolves around what the bird witnesses during his flight and much like the bird’s name suggests, we realise that individuals in the society have disguised their true selves from others,” Manoratne explained the essence of his creation.
Apart from Manoratne, Rodney Warnakula Chandrasoma Binduhewa, Sampath Tennakoon, Ajith Lokuge, Susil Wickramasinghe, Giriraj Kaushalya, Mali Jayaweerage, Fernie Roshini make up the cast. The modern day Sandesha Kavi were written by Rathna Sri Wijesinghe. Navaratne Gamage composed the music while Ravibandu Vidyapathy was the choreographer.
Swinitha Perera designed the costumes; Jagath Padmasiri was the make up artist and Lionel Bentharage made the stage settings. Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel sponsors the play.
Staging plays is not a money-spinner today but we see you constantly engaging in this field.
It is true that it had not become a field that brings in money but our media of expression is stage dramas.
I consider it our duty to keep this form of art alive.
It is a very powerful medium that drives home points in an effective manner. It acknowledges theatregoers on certain aspects of the society and prepares them to appreciate quality productions.
How did you develop the basis of this play?
The episodes took form from certain incidents which I observed from the society. The play takes the form of a satire because it pricks the core of some of the prevailing social issues. However this is done in an artistic manner.
What are the dates scheduled for the drama?
We will be staging the play at Anuradhapura and Kekirawa on November 19 and 20, Lionel Wendt on November 21, John de Silva on November 23 and Horana on November 29.
Your character in Lalith Ratnayake’s Arungal is quite popular.
(Smiles) After a long period I got to play a novel character.
It is based on an estranged relationship between a young man and his stepfather. The tele creation explores their relation with a deep angle. I play a pivotal role as the stepfather.
What else are you involved in these days?
Rathriya Manaram, my tele drama is telecast on Rupavahini on Sundays at 7.30 p.m. Sarath Dharmasiri’s Suvisi Vivarana is the next movie slotted for release. I also hope to launch the script of Sudu Redi Horu.