Leading laughs

Saturday, 28 May 2011 00:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Adding some Sri Lankan spice to a tried and true production, theatre and event production company Silent Hands are set to hit the boards once again by re-enacting American playwright Ken Ludwig’s comedy of identity theft ‘Leading Ladies’.

Following the successes of their previous productions such as Yes, Honourable Minister’, ‘Boeing Boeing’, ‘Move Over Mrs. Markham’ and ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’, the production is directed by Neidra Williams and Jehan Bastians, assisted by Gehan Blok and Miranga Ariyaratne. The production will also feature Bimsara Premaratne, Dmitri Gunatilake, Chinthaka Fernando, Kanishka Herat, Ivan Saverus, Trionne de Jong and Naresh Anthony and the production is handled by Miranga Ariyaratne and Naresh Anthony.

The farcical comedy centres on the ‘Leading Ladies’ who are in fact two Shakespearean actors, Leo Coonghe and Jack Silva, while down on their luck and scraping rock bottom, see the opportunity to enact the roles of their lifetimes. Florence Wewalpanawa, a millionaire heiress living in Ward Place, Colombo 7 is looking for her two long lost nieces, Stephanie and Maxine, to legally transfer her estate to them along with one –third of it going to her other niece, Meg Wewalpanawa. Upon hearing that Florence hadn’t been able to contact her nieces for more than 30 years, Leo and Jack pounce on the opportunity (Leo with full gusto and Jack not so willingly) to get their hands on Rs.100 million each.

Dressing up as women isn’t something Leo and Jack do every day and the presence of Meg and Audrey, (a girl who frequently visits the Wewalpanawa family), in the same household and in the same room as them complicates things. Leo falls head over heels in love with Meg but cannot profess his love since he is playing the role of Maxine. Such is the case with Jack who while playing the role of Stephanie, falls head over heels in love with Audrey. Meanwhile Doctor Banagala, who had twice pronounced Florence Wewalpanawa as dead sees an opportunity for an ungainly conquest in Stephanie and Rev. Elapatha, Meg’s husband-to-be smells a rat with the entrance of Maxine and Stephanie after 30 years, just when the estate is about to be divided.