ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday February 24, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 39

Striving for Lankan identity through Sinhabahu

By Dhananjani Silva

Lion, the king of the beasts falls in love with princess Suppadevi and from their union are born twins- the son named Sinhabahu and daughter Sinha Seevali. The English version of this traditional mythological story ‘Sinhabahu’ documented in the great chronicle the Mahawamsa, will come alive on March 14 and 15 at the Lionel Wendt.

Director Dharmajith Punarjeewa says his creation does not deviate from the original drama by Sarathchandra, although it is in English.“I am trying to develop this script according to Sarathchandra’s vision; in doing so I have to keep to its original theme and characters. Also I do not try to draw a comparison between the Sinhala and the English versions,” he said.

The whole idea behind the staging of the English version of the legendary drama Sinhabahu, he says, is to assert a true Sri Lankan identity.“I have come across many instances where websites give misinterpretations and contradictions on the birth of the Sinhala nation. However, this script is the best example which traces the roots of Sinhalese and I believe, that through performing arts this message could be clearly conveyed to the people in a bid to promote our true Lankan identity,” he said adding that he is thankful to Mrs. Sarathchandra for granting permission to produce Sinhabahu in English.

The role of Sinhabahu is played by dancer Saranga Abeysinghe while well known Anoma Jinadari plays Suppadevi. The play is choreographed by Kanchana Wijesooriya of Bandu Wijesooriya Dance Academy and the music is by Mary Anne David, Noeline Honter, Jerome De Silva, Heshan Gamage, Navarthne Gamage and Jananath Warakagoda. The script has been translated by Dr. Lakshmi De Silva of the Peradeniya University.

Sinhabahu will also be staged in Kandy in the subsequent weekend after the main show in Colombo. Tickets can be obtained through or from the Lionel Wendt.

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