|At the Lionel Wendt Theatre on August 8 and 9|
Indika Ferdinando�s latest Sinhala language theatre production, Colombo Colombo is to go on boards at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on August 8 and 9. Having won State Awards as well as Youth Awards for over four theatre productions, including the award for Best Upcoming Director at the State Drama Festival 2000, for Janadhipathi Thaththa, Ferdinando is a versatile director, actor, and script writer, with many accolades to his credit.
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 four 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.
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.
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 Aloysius� Ritual and Pyramus & 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.