TV Times

‘Don’t use my play for politics’

‘Dictator’ breaks the decade’s silence
By Susitha R. Fernando

Award winning actor both in stage and screen, avant-garde filmmaker and acclaimed playwright who even had to seek self-exile for being genuine with his works of art, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake has returned to the stage with his controversial play ‘Ekadhipathi’ (The Dictator) goes on the boards on December 9 at 3 pm and 7 pm at Elphinstone theatre.

Be it a film or play, Bandaranayake had the creative power to stir the social and political arenas sometimes even risking his own life. Last shown ten years ago ‘Ekadhipathi’ has started its second journey at a crucial time when a Presidential election is around.

Last week, a state run newspaper quoted that the posters of the play had been destroyed by a party whose candidate was running for election.

“I see it only as a mere attempt to use my play to fulfil certain political agendas. I am not into politics,” responded the acclaimed playwright when asked about the news item involving his play which was originally staged 33 years ago.

“I request everybody not to use my play for politics,” requested Bandaranayake. ‘Ekadhipathy’ was opened on November 26, 1976 when the J. R. Jayewardena administration was going to conduct the election which brought about many political changes to the country.

‘However the country’s situation has worsened when compared to 1976. We have gone through a destructive war and have experienced many divisions,’ producer said.

Bandaranayake also expressed his concern over the state of today’s artistes who had turned to politics. “This is a pathetic situation which even has led to the complete destruction of art,” Mr. Bandaranayake said.

‘Our duty as artistes is to lead the masses for a better world than serving politicians,’ outspoken Bandaranayake said.

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