'Makkal Kalari' (Jana Karaliya) - a theatre bridge between Sinhala and Tamil people

DRAMA: "We will not directly speak on peace. But the entire audience who view our dramas will realise that it as a collective work by both Sinhala and Tamil theatre loving groups.

For example, Tamil artistes would play roles in Sinhala dramas and Sinhala artistes would perform in Tamil dramas.

The presentation of our theatre production, would provide some kind of a signal to the inner thoughts of the viewers in an exemplary manner", points out veteran small screen and stage drama director Parakrama Niriella.


Parakrama Niriella

"Jana Karaliya" or " Makkal Kalari" in Tamil means theatre of the people. "Jana Karaliya", a drama and theatre activities group, which focuses their programmes throughout the country, was a brain concept by Niriella two years ago.

Speaking on the object of "Jana Karaliya", Niriella said: "Jana Karaliya" was launched in July 2004, just two years ago. But I had immense experience in handling theatre production with Haththotuwagama in 1970s when we were doing the production of "Sitha and Rama".

However I had a difficulty with the term of 'performing space' in stage dramas. We were used to call the stage in Sinhalese as "Ranga Madala" or "Karaliya" or " Vedikawa".

But in Europe, although they called it "Stage" when it comes to use, it means a lot. The stage dramas should go to the ordinary people. We should offer it in more attractive way rather than it was".

Describing the activities of the mobile theatre group of "Jana Karaliya", Niriella said that the unique of its mobile group is that it owned a huge tent that can accommodate thousands of theatre lovers at once.

"It is called new arena type theatre. The mobile theatre group in Colombo visit the area they chose and put up the tent there. From that point they start their theatre activities. The very first mobile theatre came to live from Anuradhapura.

Another one was held in Trincomalee. The mobile theatre is different from the applied theatre. We have a group consisting of Sinhala and Tamil youth of 25 members. The dramas produced by these members will be shown from time to time at the tent.

Apart from the performance, we will also hold drama workshop for youth and series of workshop and practical sessions for Sinhala and Tamil teachers in the area with the intention of promoting their knowledge on theatre which will assist them in teaching Drama and Theatre in schools".


The huge tent

This time "Jana Karaliya" has launched its Drama and Theatre programme in Puttalam District. "Jana Karaliya" Mobile Theatre Group arrived Puttalam in May and installed the Mobile Theatre at St. Mary's Tamil Maha Vidyalaya ground.

They will stay there till mid of July, engaging with Drama and Theatre activities. They have already started conducting Drama and Theatre appreciation programmes at Puttalam, Mahakumbukkadawala, Karuwalagaswewa, Anamaduwa, Vanathavilluwa, Serakkusiya, Kalpitiya and Nawagaththegama with the assistance of the Provincial Secretaries of those areas.

They will start Drama and Theatre appreciation programmes and workshops for school students and teachers after A/L examinations and holidays.

"Jana Karaliya Drama Festival", the most attractive item of their activity in the Jana Karaliya Mobile theatre started from June 23 and continue till July 3.


Mobile theatre activists

Jana Karaliya Sinhala and Tamil Drama production, "Charandas", "Seethambarapata", "Andaramal", "Devlowagamana", "Charandas Kallan", "Mayappattadai", "Erukkalam Poo", "Dewaloha Payanam" and Children's Plays of Saman Pushpakumara ("Ahankara Kiribabi and "Dangayo Ne") and Sumith Samarasinghe ("Soru Evilla") also included in the list of Drama Festival scheduled.

All the "Jana Karaliya" plays are collective efforts of the Janakaraliya Mobile theatre group that consists of Sinhala & Tamil youth.

Palitha Abeylal, Jayantha Kumara Muthuthanthri, Suneth Shanthapriya, Sokkalingam Krishanthan, Chaminda Prasad, Manjula Ranasinghe, Nishantha Kularatna, Sumudu Mallawarachchi, Thyagaraja Sivanesan, Muniyandi Kalidas, Verni Theresa, Ajanthan Shanthakumar, Arosha Tharanganee, Sineth Devinda, Dinesh Swarna Sri Livera, Sam Paul, Malithi Kumari, Praneeth Jeewantha, Chinthaka Kodithuwakku, Rasaiya Lohanadan, Selvaraj Leelawathi, J. Sr Devi and B. Radhika are performing artistes in all these plays.

H.A. Perera has composed music with the assistance of Sumudu Mallawarachchi and Tharindu Gamage. Palitha Abeylal is the sound controller, Ajanthan Shanthikumar is the lighting technician and Chaminda Prasad is the Make up Artist. Ravinda Mapitigama assists in choreographing and direction.

Dilip Rohana is doing the management while Parakrama Niriella and H.A. Perera leads the entire Jana Karaliya Programme.

- Anjana -


Bollywood superhero goes head-to-head with Superman

MUMBAI: The Bollywood movie industry is banking on a masked crime-fighter to take on Superman in the first box office clash in India between rival superheroes.

"Krrish," which breaks Indian movie industry norms with lavish special effects and dramatic stunts, will be released on Friday, a week before Hollywood's "Superman Returns" debuts here.

The Indian industry is best-known for making love stories, comedies and tragedies but has never before attempted to make a film about a superhero, a formula that has proved popular in western cinema.

"Krrish is an attempt to lay the foundation of the superhero concept in Bollywood," the star of the film, Hrithik Roshan, told AFP.

"The concept of the superhero so far has been alien to Bollywood and we hope to achieve that with this film."

The film was produced with a large budget by Bollywood standards of 450 million rupees (10 million dollars), and is the sequel to the 2003 hit "Koi Mil Gaya" (I've Sound Someone) - which was loosely based on US smash "E.T."

Roshan, who also starred in the first film, is Krrish - the inheritor of supernatural powers from an alien visitor which allows him to fight crime in Singapore, where the film was partially shot.

Rakesh Roshan, the producer-director and father of the star, denied the film was a copy of Superman but said he wanted to take on Hollywood.

"I feel these are two different films and my film is not about the Superman character. As there is Batman, Spiderman and Superman - in the same way I have created a superhero character and that is Krrish."

He added: "I want to prove to the world that Bollywood is no less than Hollywood."

The movie, which also stars former Miss World Priyanka Chopra, is Hrithik Roshan's first after a gap of two years.

His last film "Lakshya" (Aim in Life) flopped in 2004.

"Bollywood audiences have not seen such a film and much excitement has built up for Krrish and it is expected to get a great opening at the box office," trade analyst Taran Adarsh said.

The Indian film industry is the largest by volume in the world, producing more than 1,000 movies in 2005 but accounting for only one percent of global film revenues.

Bollywood, the term for the Mumbai-based heart of the industry, generates about 40 percent of Indian film revenues.

- (AFP) -


Anjalika introduces a 'new star' to the silver screen

FILM: 'Anjalika', the maiden film directed by Channa Perera will be screened from June 28 at leading cinemas including the Savoy, Wellawatta.


 An Indian-Sri Lankan mix Pooja Uma Shankar

Pooja Uma Shankar, an Indian born to a Sri Lankan mother will be introduced as the leading star in this movie.

Thivanka Imbulgoda is the only son of Clifford and Induthara. After his mother's sudden demise he goes abroad and his father moves to the city with his sole companion - loneliness. Years later, Thivanka returns to his motherland as a dashingly handsome, well-mannered young man.

Though he is much sought after by his childhood love Kavya, his heart truly longs for Anjalika - the attractive daughter of a caretaker at one of Thivanka's estates. Kavya allows their love to blossom. Though Clifford has no objections for the affair, Anjalika's father does.

Thivanka and Anjalika's affair meets a fatal and when Anjalika mysteriously disappears. Unable to bear this sorrow, Thivanka suffers from a breakdown. Clifford too suffers a similar fate.

Thivanka meanwhile, meets Uththara who resembles Anjalika in manner and looks. Thivanka's life caught between two lovers thus head in an unexpected direction...

This film offers a rare glimpse of the life in high society. The camera capture in detail the glitter and glamour of high places.

The cast: Channa Perera, Pooja Uma Shankar, Anarkali Akarsha, Sanath Gunathilaka, Rex Kodippili, Narada Bakmewewa, Rosy Senanayake, Robin Fernando, Maureen Charuni, Lakshman Mendis, G.R. Perera, Somasiri Alakolanga, Oshadie Hewamadduma, and Chandrika Siriwardhana.

Child artistes are Himasal Thathsara Liyanage and Panchali Kaushalya.

Dubbing artiste for Pooja is by Nadeesha Hemamali.

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