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‘Makarakshaya’ hunting for dragons in humans

The maiden show of the new production of Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s multi-awarded political satire ‘Makarakshaya’ (The Dragon) will go on the boards at 6.45 pm on June 19 and 20 at the Lionel Wendt, theatre, Colombo.

Staging nearly 900 shows, ‘Makarakshaya’, the Sinhala translation of ‘The Dragon’ written by Soviet playwright Yevgeny Shvarts and translated by Cyril C. Perera won 12 State Awards at the State Drama Festival in 1985 including Best play, Best Director, Best Translation, Best Music, Best Costume Designing, Best Stage Set designing, Best Lighting and Best Choreography. Produced in 1985 the play staged till 1999 to packed audiences around the country.

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake

‘Makarakshya’ is a political satire aimed at totalitarianism in all forms. The plot is based on the attempt of the hero, Lancelot, to liberate people in a land suffering under Dragon’s brutal rule. But his efforts meet with resistance, since most of the people have got used to the Dragon and considered his methods, though harsh, the only possible way; their souls becoming, in a way, crippled with this inability and unwilling to resist.

“Though the play was originally written in 1945 and first produced by late playwright Henry Jayasena in 1973 and then produced by me on a different translation in 1985 in Sri Lanka the message is still applicable to our society,” playwright and actor Dharmasiri Bandaranayake said.

“We find the tyrannical qualities of the leaders are inherent in the very subjects who chose them and the biggest challenge is to destroy these dragons living within the ordinary people who are lazy and shrewd,” the veteran playwright said.

‘This is a fairy tale and with certain changes we have maintained the interesting dramatic effects so that everybody can enjoy,’ he added. One of the main purposes in reproducing ‘Makarakshaya’ is to educate the present theatregoers and students of theatre and drama who had never seen it.

‘These plays have gone in to history and I want to reproduce all my plays to educate the younger generation who did not have the chance to see them,’ Bandaranayake said. Dharmasiri Bandaranayake who played the lead role of Lancelot in both Henry Jayasena’s production and his own is to repeat the same for the last time.

‘Makarakshaya’ in search of dragons in everyone.

‘I had to play this role as we could not find the suitable actor,’ he said. ‘Today there is a real problem of getting dedicated actors to the stage. They are not ready to study the profession and they only go after teledramas which provide them more financial benefits. Actually this is a pathetic situation which has lead to the destruction of theatre and art,’ describes veteran playwright and filmmaker.

‘However we have managed to get an interesting cast together with some well-known names in cinema and teledrama’ The others in the cast in the new production include Yashoda Wimaladharma, Dharmapriya Dias, Luxman Mendis, Priyantha Sirikumara, Chulla Jayawardhana, Gamini Wijesinghe, Leonard Cooray, Warnathunga Senanayake, Jagath Muthukumarana, Oshadee Gunasekera, Vathsala Ranasinghe, Dulanjalee Shankalya, Niluka Rajamanthree, Arunod Wijesinghe and Amila Gal Anga.

The choreography is by Jehan Aloysius while the assistant director is Ranga Bandaranayake. Make up is by Wasantha Vittachchi and the stage managers are Indika Wickramarathna, Susanga Kahandawaarachchi and Oshadee Gunasekera.

Courtesy: Times Online

Posted on Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 22:43:34 LKT by

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