Mirror Magazine

Many a dream in changing times
Ishani Ranasinghe speaks to the cast of Unnamed Desire, an adaptation of Tennesse Williams’ famous play
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams was considered one of the most groundbreaking plays and movies of all time. Unnamed Desire an adaptation of this play will be performed by Creative Minds, a newly formed stage play production company. They promise their adaptation will be different, while keeping the texture and atmosphere of Tennessee Williams’ original text.

Ruwani Hewage, producer cum director of the production, who returns to Sri Lanka from UK with many productions to her name, says that this is her first production in Sri Lanka. She adds that this is one of her favourite plays, “I like it because there is a sense of timelessness.”

Set in modern times the play is located in Louisiana and is based around the lives of the Du-Bois sisters. It follows the misfortunate turn that Blanche Du-Bois’ life has taken and the choices that Stella Du-Bois makes to stick to the life that she has chosen for herself by marrying beneath her to Stanley Kowalski. Whilst Stella and Stanley live in a comfort zone thinking that even though they are poor they are happy, Blanche comes into their lives and brings in the glamour. It’s basically the beginning of the journey to unravel who Blanche really is.

“This is a serious play which is very sophisticated and intimate,” says Dominic Keller adding that they are aiming at a mature audience. Speaking about his role as Stanley Kowalski he says, “My character is a know-it-all who is simple but thinks he has everything figured out”. And he’s got the wittiest lines in the play. Blanche, who is played by Kate Jackson, feels that her character is the one who people can relate to.

Considering her character to be the more stable one of the two sisters, Nadeeka Perera adds that everyone wonders why Stella stays with Stanley. “But no matter what happens Stella loves Stanley.” “I really like it especially the end,” she says admitting that being a part of this production has been a lot of fun.

Having a lot of mood-setting music Eshantha Peiris the musical co-ordinator cum composer says that there is only one scene in the play that takes on the musical aspect, after that it changes.

“The opening scene gives the background to Blanche,” says Ruwani adding that this particular scene is more of the musical theatre kind. Using only jazz music Eshantha adds that he feels that this is the kind of music that will bridge the gap between the classes. With modern and ghetto costumes, they add that the set for their play will also be very different. “It’s four dimensional,” says Dominic. Not really, the others contend. They resolve finally to put it simply as “very unique”.

The cast for Unnamed Desire also include Chinthu Viswakula, Sajith Amendra and Tanya Goonewardena. The play will go on the boards at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on August 27 and 28. The sponsors for the production are SAMSA and Sigma Chemicals (PVT) LTD. The production is in aid of the Lansigama Home for Elders.


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