the fairy tale
By Esther Williams
Cinderella, the fairy tale has always enchanted children
the world over. Its magic was brought alive by The British School
in Colombo in a Sri Lankanised version of the popular story on 18th
and 19th February at the Lionel Wendt. Around 59 children of ages
7-11 participated in this junior school production.
Aluwihare played the part of wicked step mother to perfection. Having
acted in previous school productions, taking on the role of a woman
did not pose too much of a problem. “It’s different
and I have enjoyed it. I am supposed to hate Cinderella and I don’t
feel sorry for her at all,” he laughs while admitting that
he is really nice in real life.
of the long hours of practice they had all put it, Pranavan Rockwood
who played the Prince says that he had the most fun dancing. “We
also got to experience the olden days and what they wore,”
said he. As for the title role, it was played by Marya Norat. “I
had to learn ballroom dancing and lots of lines,” she said.
ugly stepsisters played by Chetindra Siriwardane and Kimaya De Silva
drew much laughter from the audience while Anne Marie De Silva looked
the part of the enchanting fairy godmother. The stage props as also
the costumes and make up were outstanding.
to the Director of the Play, Lesley Holdsworth men often took on
the role of women in Pantomimes in England. “We encouraged
boys to fit the role as we felt it would bring in more,” she
they had made adaptations to the script with references to local
places to make it more hilarious. “We made the changes to
connect with the audience,” adds another Director, Diedre
Theogarajah. While the ball is in progress, the queen fervently
wishes that her son would choose some one from Colombo 7, while
guests arrive from Pettah and as far as Jaffna.
Perera spoke of the unique scenes they had introduced. It is during
a dance sequence that begins with a disco and gradually turns into
a ballroom dance with a parade of courtiers that the transformation
of the animals into coach hands, the pumpkin into a carriage and
Cinderella into her ball gown takes place. “We wanted the
small children to see this almost magical transformation,”
another scene that needs mention is that of the stepsisters who
are terrorised by the mice and rats. The production team that began
practices since October 2004 was delighted with the effort put in
by the children. “They developed so much during the play and
even the shy ones blossomed,” explains Ms. Theogarajah.
Perera directed the music using original tracks, some of which were
changed to make the music more lively. The school’s modern
dancing teacher Romina Guy choreographed the dances.