Daily News Online

Wednesday, 28 March 2012



Sinhabahu and Maname rejuvenated

With joy the mighty Sinhabahu saw his son, but when the arrow pierced his side his love turned to anger. The much loved story of Sinhabahu is one that we loved to hear as children and in April we will see this drama take place in novel surroundings. Audiences can see it at Nelum Pokuna.



Together with Producer and Director Lalitha Sarathchandra and her band of thespians the Presidential Secretariat and the Administration of Nelum Pokuna will bring to Colombo Audiences Sinhabahu and Maname two timeless dramas, both the creations of Sinhala literary genius Sarathchandra. This production will revitalize Sinhalese Drama Culture and also set the trend of attracting producers, directors and audiences to Nelum Pokuna.

"I have not changed the songs or dance or anything but the production techniques I have changed a little bit.

Normally we have four or five veddas but this time we have 12 or 13 Veddas. There is a beautiful light system. I have never seen a light system like that before. There are lots of light effects. But I will not be using all of them because it is not suitable for the play because it is a Nadagam and within the Nadagam style I use those techniques. So there are old and new actors and actresses, some of them who have come out of retirement.

Throughout all of this I have received a tremendous amount of happiness doing a play in these surroundings.

The first day I did rehearsals on that stage I felt so happy and thought I am the luckiest directress in Sri Lanka.

Indeed in her very own words Lalitha Sarachchandra says it is her 'duty' to carry on with these dramas in memory of Ediriweera Sarachchandra. Sinhabahu will be shown on April 1 at 2.30 pm (school show) and 6.30pm (public show) and Maname on April 3 at 6.30 pm (public show).

For the last 50 Years Sinhabahu has been held in various parts of the country, while for 55 years Maname has been held throughout the country. The difference with this production is that it is being held without a sound system.

In other words audiences will be hearing natural voices. This will be a new experience for audiences, because they will be watching these plays in a way that they have never seen before due to the technology and the way the Nelum Pokuna Auditorium has been built.

The auditorium has 1288 seats and it has been built in such a way that the natural voice travels. Acoustics are 100% at Nelum Pokuna which is without doubt the best theatre in Sri Lanka. The light effect along with the air-conditioning and seating provide for maximum comfort.

"We called Lalitha Sarachchandra as she had evinced an interest in doing a play at Nelum Pokuna. Professor Sarachchandra enriched Sinhala drama culture and this will be the ideal commemoration to him.

We expect a full audience. Once Nelum Pokuna becomes popular then we will have a regular crowd here," said Manager Operation and Administration, Lieutenant Colonel Kumara Peiris.


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