goes to the hills
'Maname', the theatrical masterpiece of Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra
will be staged on January 26, Thursday at Hindu Cultural Centre
Hall in Kandy.
The play which had been prescribed for G. C. E. Advanced Level Examination
has two shows at 8.30 am and 11.30 am. Another two shows of 'Maname'
will go on board at Tower Hall, Maradana on January 27 at 8.30 am
and 11.30 am.
in 1956 Prof. Sarachchandra's epoch making major play is considered
the seminal work of the contemporary Sri Lankan theatre, triggering
off as it did, a wide - spread resurgence in theatrical activity
throughout the country and right through the last four decades.
about 'Maname' and Prof. Sarachchandra late A. J. Gunawardena stated
"at a point when Sinhala drama seemed to have lost all sense
of direction and purpose Ediriweera Sarachchandra, Sri Lanka's greatest
playwright, came into the scene."
further wrote Sarachchandra, an academic by occupation, was a moderniser
who was essentially Tagorean in spirit. He convinced that the direct
emulation of Western forms was not the way forward for Sinhala drama,
sought to attain a viable fusion of the Western and Asian modes.
further believed that drama was a poetic medium which, most properly,
should concern itself with perennial themes, and not with quotidian
issues. The use of poetry, music, song, dance and stylised gesture
on the modern stage was entirely appropriate, he argued.
work for the stage followed these principles. Writing and directing
the plays by himself, he demonstrated outstanding poetic gifts and
a sure grasp of modern stagecraft. Always working with 'found material'
such as Buddhist Jataka stories and folk tales, he experimented
with traditional theatrical forms. For his path-breaking "Maname"
(1956), Sarachchandra employed the almost extinct nadagam form.
This turned out to be an inspired choice, for the nadagam elegantly
accommodated the theatrical vocabulary he favoured.
accomplished several objectives. While offering an exceptionally
satisfying theatrical experience, the play validated the path that
Sarachchandra sought to follow. It demonstrated that a productive
fusion of the traditional and the modern was not only feasible on
stage but desirable. As a shining example of new possibilities in
theatre, "Maname" brought self-esteem and a mood of self-confidence
into the sphere of Sinhala theatrical activity.