It’s politics the Tommiya way

Await Indu’s latest play, ‘Madai Tommiya Campaign Kala’
By Megara Tegal, Pix by M.D. Nissanka

Politics! It’s everywhere! But probably nowhere more so than at the Dress Designers’, Hair Dressers’ and Beauticians’ (DDHDB) Guild, that is about to be established. Elections to the body are just around the corner and three of Colombo’s finest stylists are vying for the presidency.

Things heat up and get dirty as the candidates turn to corruption and suborning to secure their victory, while loyalty disintegrates as their assistants and supporters shuffle between the rival presidential candidates.

You are invited to witness the most foul, highly comical and riveting election campaign unfurl right before your eyes, this coming weekend at the Lionel Wendt. Directed by wellknown playwright and thespian, Indu Dharmasena, ‘Madai Tommiya Campaign Kala’ is the latest production in his ‘Tommiya’ series.

“This is the 10th play in the Tommiya series,” says Indu, exclaiming “and of course there will be more!” The success of the series lies in the star character- the lovable and amusingly godé country bumpkin Tommiya. Indu says Tommiya won the hearts of the audience the first time he puttered on stage and suffered the pitfalls of being proposed to by a snooty city girl.

In Madai Tommiya Campaign Kala, Ananda Silva (Abbasali Rozais) sets about fulfilling his dream to form the DDHDB guild. Tommiya (Indu) helps him campaign for presidency as they try to outsmart the devious and overbearing dress designer Rupathi Ekanayake (Koluu) and counter the calculating yet dim-witted actress Sumudu Pahapathwardena (Sanwada Dharmasena).

Abbasali,Sanwada and Koluu: Three’s a crowd.
Dilshan, Indu, Kris, Danu and Fazry: Lots of action

“Rupathi is one of those large obnoxious women who thinks no end of herself, eternally wanting to be in the limelight. And you get one in all the clubs,” Koluu elaborates as he describes his character, adding “she won’t stop at anything to get what she wants.”

The pre-election blitz starts off as the other colourful characters enter the scene with their own agendas. Ivanna Tinkle (Krys Sosa) a veteran dress designer and somewhat of a fossil in the industry desperately wants to be appointed as a board member.

Also in the fray are leading model Miranda (Michelle Herft), Andana’s assistant Tania (Sanjula Ameresekera), Sumudu’s man Friday- Randave (Dilshan Perera), the journalist covering the event for a fashion magazine Abyassa Akurusinghe (Jeeves), the opportunistic hairdresser Gladdy ( Fazry Ibrahim), Schneider hair products representative for Asia, Ms. Frauka Muller (Saskia Vallandar), the guest of honour at the DDHDB inaugural Convention and Harry (Danu Innasithambi), who let’s just say has a pivotal role in the play.

Madai Tommiya Campaign Kala will be performed on May 14, 15 and 16 at the Lionel Wendt at 7.30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the Lionel Wendt priced at Rs. 1500, 1000, 700 and 300 for the balcony seats (unreserved).

The performance on Friday will be presented by Zeiz the Day Foundation (ZDF) which helps women and children in need, while the performance on Saturday will be presented by the Rotary Club of Colombo Down Town, as a fundraiser for their Hambantota School Project launched after the tsunami struck Sri Lanka.

Print media sponsors for the play are the Sunday Times and the Daily Mirror. So be sure to make your way to the Lionel Wendt this coming weekend to, as Koluu put it, “have a good laugh and enjoy yourself.”

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