Kandy is getting ready for yet another mind-blowing performance in a not-another-stereotypical drama: “It’s All Amidst” – Aslam Marikar.
Young Ediriweera, portrayed by Bandhuka Premawardhana, a candidate for the upcoming general election whose approach to politics sounds pragmatic, unlike other candidates, begins with the clear cut statement, “I cannot give you jobs. I cannot give you money. All I can do is to create an environment where your hard work will be reciprocated with substantial returns.”
With these words, the performance is set ablaze and lit bright on stage.
Humor, political opinion, high spirits and dedication, create an eccentric formula that define a practice session set in motion by the Sri Theatre Company. This year the cast and crew hope to give their audience something new. A fresh story written by Aslam Marikar who seems partly obsessed by the fact that a dramatist must have a story tell if to sustain a profession with the pen.
This year unlike his previous story, The Twenty First Century Monk, the writer has decided to keep the presentation simple and stick to a method he considered ‘inside the box’.
“What is different should be the story, how you deiced to perform will solely depend on your culture and economics,” says Aslam.
I had this preconceived notion of writing my opinion of what the audience was in for this August, but the enthusiasm at which the crew gelled together at practice forced me to veer towards a different course. What better for the public to hear all about “It’s All Amidst” the cast themselves.
What we see as individuals in society is one side, but in a play the writer intends to put into perspective as much sides as possible.
The best part that the audience will enjoy is that people will be able to relate to the characters on stage. I believe theatre is a part of society played on stage.
The way most of the characters (in the play) behave is very real to how we go about our lives. It’s a story that’s true to our culture.
We laugh at satire not really understanding we are laughing at ourselves. So theatre is important in a way to point out to the people watching the play that “this is us.”
Sri Lankans used to have a lot of regard for people who went abroad and made themselves a living, but now it’s changing, more people have started believing that work can be done at home (Sri Lanka). This play is about that generation.
In Sri Lanka, most of the time, it’s about doing someone else thing, but if you can come up with our own production its better, because then you are not talking about the happenings in foreign lands but life here at home.
English drama in Sri Lanka has more nerve centers outside the country than inside. I started with the British Council drama club a long time ago, it was very amateur work, but even that little actually helped me build a professional career in art. This is something good starting that is really necessary in Kandy. Some think that art is not important. They misunderstand recklessness for recreation.The play will go on boards on August 14 and 15, at the EOE Pereira Theater.
Pic credit Ashwin Jayalath