Tanuj Anavaratne’s latest play ready for the boards | Sunday Observer

Tanuj Anavaratne’s latest play ready for the boards

17 September, 2017

Dramatist and director Tanuj Anavaratne who in 2007 brought to the silver screen his first film, ‘Nisala Gira’ is now ready to unfold his fourth stage play on September 25 at the Punchi Theatre in Colombo. Titled Sanda Eliyata Vedi Thiyanna (Shooting the Moonlight) the play will open to theatregoers for a two-day show run (25th and 26th) and marks the return of Anavaratne as a dramatist and director to the Sinhala stage, after nearly two decades.

The theme of the play carries strong overtones about the ideological representations of childbearing and its politics in today’s society. Anavaratne brings this play to life from a script written in 2006 in which a keen interest was taken by several cast members of the production. The efforts of the playwright and his team have certainly made this work a common goal, with an interest being taken by the actors that goes far beyond the average ‘acting job’.

The story revolves around a childless couple and how the desire for parenthood becomes a matter of varying significance, especially, being linked with the political career of the wife’s father who needs to project his image as a man who upholds and promotes the ‘traditional family’ notion. Fertility can therefore seem a virtue in the eyes of today’s society. And, parenthood can be a political necessity on the one hand, while also being a natural human desire. The storyline brings out the consequences of infidelity and social stigmas that can arise when people in high positions are caught in situations that can compromise their standing in society and undo the heights they attained. It is a story about desires and opportunism and the facades that society maintains. It is also about the culture of the politics we have, and the politics of what we call ‘culture’ in these times where pretensions are maintained religiously and false shows of morality are emulated passionately.

Sanda Eliyata Vedi Thiyanna features a cast of well known faces from both, the stage and screen. The four player production has two male roles played by Janaka Kumbukage and Jayanath Bandara and two female characters played by Nadeeshani Peliarachchi and renowned screen actress Nita Fernando. Sanda Eliyata Vedi Thiyanna will certainly kindle the interests of theatregoers owing to both, the themes it deals and the creditable acting talent involved in the play and also due to the fact that it marks the return of Anavaratne to the Sinhala theatre.