Mirror Magazine


A modern fairytale: Cinderfella
By 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.

"Cinderfella" 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.

In character 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..

Soraya, Princess 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 my stepson."

The flirtatious 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.

Let yourself Believe
By Ishani Ranasinghe
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 reduction.
The need 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.

The Rotary 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 21.

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 Auditorium.
The principal sponsor for this event is Sri Lanka Telecom, with The Sunday Times and TNL Radio extending their support too.

That lucky tiger
By Esther Williams
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.

This moment 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.

What makes 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 every day.

"I like 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.

The National 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."

He experimented 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.

Amodha has 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.

Amodha hopes 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.

Organised by 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.

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