Saturday, 25 January 2014 00:00
By David Ebert
The existentialist drama Men Without Shadows was written by Jean Paul Sartre in 1946. Set in 1944, it tells the tale of five French resistance fighters captured by Vichy occupying forces during the Second World War.
The drama takes viewers through their subsequent detention and individual waits for interrogation which brings them into severe inner emotional conflict and focuses on their discussions on how they each would handle the interrogations and what they will or won’t do or say under pressure.
Sartre’s existentialist musings and theories are therefore brought to the foreground in the play using this setting, which promises some serious theatre for Colombo’s theatre-lovers. The play is to be presented by the talented Stage Light and Magic crew this time around, directed by Sashane Perera, from 7 to 9 February at the Lionel Wendt.
The drama is also one that the Sri Lankan theatre-going public are quite familiar with; with the Sinhalese adaptation ‘Dhawala Beeshana’ having been on the boards since the mid 80s. Given this, it would be quite interesting to see how the crew tackle “serious theatre” and the expectations of an audience familiar with the play already. Await an interview with the cast in the Weekend FT next week to find out how they view existentialism, their characters and what they’ve got planned for the audience this time around.
Pix by Lasantha Kumara