modern fairytale: Cinderfella
Marisa de Silva
I walk into Indu's home to the sound of a popular music
hit sung by two guys and a young woman, thinking with my fairly
decent knowledge of music that those weren't the original lyrics.
And I soon discover that yes, these are lyrics composed especially
for the play being sung to well-known tunes.
This is one of the unique characteristics of Indu Dharmasena's latest
play "Cinderfella" that goes on the boards on December
13, 14 and 15, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre.
based on its sister fairytale, is a twisted version of the original.
It revolves around the story of Cinderfella, played by the Director,
Indu Dharmasena, who's ill-treated by his two step brothers and
step father and is helped along by his Fairy God-Father and friend,
Fairy-God Aunt, Myrtle Ethel Happens-to-all, played by Michael Holsinger
and the hilarious Koluu respectively. It depicts the various strata
of our society and is also a political satire of sorts, says Indu.
Each character attempts to bring out a certain type of person in
our community who does what it takes to get by. Therefore it could
be called a farce with a deeper meaning, he adds.
Tom and Dick
(the two step brothers), played by Danushthan Innasithamby (17)
and Gehan Cooray (15) respectively, enlightened me on the portrayal
of their roles in the play. The brothers are not much alike in character
and as a matter of fact in structure either. Whilst Tom is sturdy
and big made, Dick is more tall and lanky.
Tom claims, "Although we're both supposedly dumb, I'm considerably
the smarter one but one thing we both have in common is our mutual
hatred for our step- brother...Cinderfella!" Dick on the other
hand says, "I may be dumber but, I'm definitely the wittier
of the two. I take great delight in reiterating what my brother
says in a more profound manner. As this role is against my normal
character, it's a challenge for me to do and I love it."
The Queen of
the land, played by veteran actress Angela Seneviratne, is a high-powered
affluent lady, whose main motive at this time is to find her "Honey-suckle"
(her daughter) an eligible, young suitor. In short "I'm the
personification of regality, completely in control and am the sole
dominant female role in the play," she says. "As this
about our fourth play together, the cast is like family and are
very comfortable with each other. "Cinderfella" helps
bring out the child in each of us," she adds..
Charming, played by Catriona Nicholas (23) portrays a dual role
of "mischief" and " charm". "I have a kind
heart and am the perfect lady but at the same time I can be adventurous.
I like it cos' it's a different kind of role to the ones I play
usually and the play's also on a different level," she says.
The young Anushan
Selvarajah (18), debuts as an elderly man as he plays the role of
a wicked step-father, Lord Bellwela. "I'm in a short a domineering
sort. I mollycoddle my two sons and take great pleasure in ill-treating
Lady Glad-eye, (Krys Sosa), the catty Lady Cat-no (Priyanka Holsinger),
the gluttonous Lady Eatwell (Mrinali Thalgodapitiya, Sir Good-deed
(Dayan Dias Abeyegunawardene) and Lord Hair-rise (Conall Beekmeyer),
all a bit over the top with their numerous eccentricities help to
bring colour and humour to the play. "There's always a good
side to people, no matter how bad they may seem. This is what I'm
trying to bring out in this play. We have fun on stage so, the audience
will just love it," adds the vibrant Indu.
The year was 2001. The global Polio count was 451,
a drastic reduction from 1988 when there were 350,000 cases of Polio
in 125 countries. Rotarians and the World Health Organisation are
now in the forefront of fighting Polio and bringing about a massive
of the hour is finance to wipe out the virus permanently. Polio
control is maintained by immunising 575 million children with two
billion doses of Polio vaccine in 94 countries.
Club of Colombo Uptown has pledged their commitment and effort to
eradicate polio. As a first step to raising funds for this cause,
they have organised 'Believe', an evening of entertainment which
goes on the boards at the Bishop's College auditorium on December
The Old Joes
Choir after their resounding performance at 'Evolution' will join
Deja Vu, regrouped folk rock band Flame and other guest artistes
to provide a wide repertoire of seasonal classics and contemporary
music for everyone. 'Believe' is a production by Michael Ranasinghe.
Tickets will be available from December 12 at the Bishop's College
sponsor for this event is Sri Lanka Telecom, with The Sunday Times
and TNL Radio extending their support too.
Amodha and his friends were on an elephant ride one evening
at the Bandavgarh National Park, India. Their mahout took them to
one of the favourite haunts of B2, as they referred to the second
largest tiger in the park. They spotted him lounging in what looked
like a man-made cave. For over 30 minutes they tracked him on elephant
back. There happened to be a group of pilgrims, making their way
to the fort in the park. As B2 neared the main road, he saw them
and backtracked. Sitting atop a sand mound, he watched the pilgrims
from his vantage point.
that Amodha Kannangara captured with his Nikon F70, was the winning
entry for the Young Nature Photographer's Contest 2002. Of the 17
shots that he entered, two other shots of his were commended.
him an exceptional photographer is his love for both nature and
photography. Having started as a hobby, taking photographs developed
into a serious activity, that he hopes to actively pursue whatever
his future profession.
An A/L student,
Amodha's first trip to Yala was when he was five years of age. He
still remembers the leopard he saw then. Ever since, on his numerous
trips to Yala and Uda Walawe National Parks among others, he has
been photographing nature, his subject always - wildlife and landscapes.
Birds in flight, a leopard taking a drink of water, baby elephants
cuddling close to their mothers, deer standing alert, a wild boar
with its young trailing behind, rock squirrels, kingfishers and
aquatic birds have been his subjects, scenes that cannot be seen
to capture animals and their behaviour while in their natural habitat,"
Amodha says. "It is a record for future reference, for those
who will not have a chance to see them," he passionately explains,
revealing his love of nature. "Who knows, they may be extinct
some day, although I hope it will never come to that."
Waking up at
odd hours in the morning and moving about through the jungle, with
the least possible sound, that sometimes extends for hours together
at a stretch, is something that Amodha is accustomed to. For over
a decade, his family have been taking expeditions into the national
parks, a regular school holiday routine (3-4 times/year) that the
family enthusiastically looks forward to.
Parks in India, (Bandavgarh and Kanha) Amodha says are bigger and
good for watching tigers. On elephant back, it apparently is quite
safe to go within 2-3 feet of the animal. "Tigers or even leopards
for that matter don't view us as a prey species. Even if they see
us, they walk away and don't feel threatened."
with his father's camera since he was around eight, but got his
own 'advanced amateur camera' three years ago and has taken his
pastime quite seriously since then. "It is not a professional
camera which is much too expensive. I cannot justify such an expense
at this stage," he says. However, for his Nikon camera, he
uses a 500 mm lens that can guarantee good pictures.
never had any kind of training in photography. He has taken an enormous
number of colour pictures of wildlife and today has a large collection.
Starting photography at an early age has given him valuable experience.
to go on an African safari someday. In the meantime, he will continue
observing his surroundings keenly, clicking at every photographic
opportunity that presents itself. "I will never give it up,
even if I am an engineer or pilot," says he.
the Jetwing Group, the Nature Photographer Contest held for the
second consecutive year, invited entries from both within Sri Lanka
and outside for the categories - Mammals, Birds, Plant Life, Wild
Landscapes and Other Wild Life and Young Nature Photographer, the
latter being for those under 21. Winning entries from all categories
are now on display at the World Trade Centre.