The dark-world of the unnatural, flamboyantly set ablaze by The Reality Show was indeed an impressive sight to behold. Jehan Aloysius with his trademark use of illusions complimented by a passionate cast gave the audience the glamour it was craving for.
Some scenes in the play were socially gripping but when put on stage and performed, made very little sense even to the extent of being naive.
• The two soldiers constantly insinuating at homosexual attractions while on a battle field with one solider pointing a gun and the other holding on to his dismembered bleeding leg was very unnatural. May be according to the writer’s research, within the dark recess of the Freudian mind a gun being pointed at you by an enemy soldier during the heat of battle was stimulus to the libido.
• If a man steals and shamelessly watches someone else suffer for what he has done – this man is a coward. Him owning up to the fact of stealing after the victim has succumbed to irredeemable hurt does not make the culprit a hero.
The writer should have explored psychological error and given priority to explaining events leading up to the characters’ crisis. All scenes enacted were worthy of consideration, for they represented deep rooted conflict however, these scenes needed to be dealt with in detail. Each soliloquy was a backstory of a would-be play and trying to explain so much on a theatre stage turns the performance into a reading.
Homosexuality is a recurring theme within all of Jehan’s work. His bold exploration of such a taboo subject in Sri Lanka must be applauded. The colorful sweetness of the play was revealing of a world some of us never experience and consider unholy or unnatural. He reminds us that homosexuals too are human and they too have feelings.
Jehan is one of Sri Lankas best Theatre Directors. Someone I can vouch for as having a world class panache to creating images on stage and the The Reality Show did maintain this standard.
Considering that Rag is still one of my favorite theatre productions and holding The reality Show parallel to Rag, I was expecting to take home a few thoughts worthy of consideration but the flames that brightened the auditorium that night did not succeed at satisfying this waiting spectator.
I humbly urge that this play be brought to Kandy. The last time an English Sri Lankan theatre crew from Colombo visited the city was in 2004, when Indu Dharmasena performed at the Queens Hotel. Performing at your own backyard will make it very hard for you to distinguish between flattery and appreciation and you will never understand the true potential of the profession but if pitiful flattery is all you want then so be it.