Somalatha Subasinghe Theatre Festival

Saturday, 3 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Designed for children, but absolutely delightful for adults to watch as well, The Colombo Theatre Festival for Young Audiences, will run into its fifth year in 2011 and this year’s line up has a special treat for children, parents and grandparents.

Along with two long time favourite children’s plays – Thoppi Welenda and Punchi Apata Dan therai, this year’s festival features the return of the hugely successful and wonderfully imaginative ‘Hima Kumariya’ (Snow White).

Hima Kumariya was first performed in 1995 and now, after a break of several years and a new and vibrant cast, this much love fairly tale returns, to fill the stage with sound and colour and your child’s imagination with endless wonder.

Based on the original classic – Snow white and Seven Dwarfs – this play has been masterfully localised and recreated within the Sri Lankan fairy tale tradition.  With a haunting and enchanting original sound track, lots of songs and dance, dark forests, timid fairies, funny dwarfs, jealous stepmothers and anxious mirrors – Hima Kumariya will entrance your child and take you back to your own childhood.

In addition to the beauty and power of the fairy tale coming alive in front of your eyes, Hima Kumariya is also a very educative and important piece of theatre for children of our times to see.  

Written and directed by the living theatre legend, Somalatha Subasinghe, Hima Kumariya and the other two plays illuminate their creator’s vision of educating and nurturing the children and youth of this country through the medium of theatre to be humane and compassionate beings.

Just like all of Subasinghe’s plays, Hima Kumariya is a play which presents to the young and impressionable mind, important values and lessons in life.  Subtly mixed with the action and humour on stage are invaluable lessons of love, responsibility, friendship, courage, trust and world awareness.  And as we watch our characters fight their inner and outer battles, we learn these (and many, many more) all important and simples lessons afresh.  

 The Festival this year is special for another reason.   Subasinghe, creator of all these plays and the uncontested living authority in modern Theatre for Children and Youth in Sri Lanka, turns seventy-five years in 2011.  And so this festival is in honour of her commitment to Sri Lankan theatre and her contribution to the enhancement of the Sri Lankan child’s imagination, for over five decades.

It’s possible that you grew up with Subasinghe’s plays.  So now it’s time to introduce your children to them.  And if neither you nor your child has ever seen them, then it really is not an experience you should miss.

All plays are written and directed by Subasinghe while the music composition and direction are by M.R. Chulasinghe.

The cast of the plays are consists of Mayura Kanchana, Palitha Abeyratne, Dilum Buddhika, Sulochana Weerasinghe, Dasun Pathirana, Wickrama Seneviratne, Geetha Alahakoon, Nimmi Priyadharshini, Rumali Chmathka.