18th February 2001
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Three women and a painting!

"Art" a dazzling comedy which revolves around three women and a painting will soon be on the Colombo stage. The play is directed by Feroze Kamardeen, who was responsible for "Macbeth," "Julius Caesar" and "Widows", a man who is usually associated with smoke machines, blazing guns and descending helicopters. Not this time. Kamardeen puts aside his penchant for special effects and directs three talented actresses in this remarkably wise, witty and intelligent comedy.

Marie, Sophie and Yvonne have been friends for 15 years. Sophie (Marissa Jansz) spends a small fortune for a piece of modern art. Marie (Anushka Pereira), to whom she shows off her new purchase, is completely unsettled. Another mutual friend Yvonne (Michelle Perera) is more ambivalent. But their friendship is stretched to breaking point leaving the trio questioning what they had in common in the first place. Only an unexpected sacrifice can restore the thing they value most.

The scene is set for a play that discusses the preoccupation with modern art and whether the values governing it are acceptable. What emerges is a touching, and at times side-splittingly funny, observation of female-friendship. There is a nasty "king's clothes" feeling that the play may be laughing up its sleeve, not just at the painting but also at the three friends whose friendship is left so naked by its purchase.

Michelle Perera takes the role of Yvonne, the loser of the trio. She has most recently played lead roles in "Slag" - 1999, "Virgo Intacta" - 1999 and "Widows" - 1998.

Sophie, the would-be collector, is portrayed by Marissa Jansz. Marissa has previously worked on such productions as "Camelot" - 1997, "King and I" - 1999 and "The Leading Man" - 1996.

Anushka Pereira plays the role of the opinionated friend, Marie. A relative newcomer to local theatre, she has previously taken lead roles in many Ladies' College productions.

"Art" , Yasmina Reza's brilliant satire, took the theatre world by storm in 1994. Reza has since become France's best-known living playwright and the play has been translated into 35 languages. The English version was written by Christopher Hampton. The original script was written for an all-male cast.

"Art" will go on the boards on Febuary 26th and 27th at the Russian Cultural Centre (Independence Avenue). Tickets are priced at Rs. 200/- and are available at the Yamaha Music Centre, No. 64, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha (Green Path), Colombo.

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