Over 45 years in the business of making people laugh. Indu Dharmasena has, throughout a dynamic career as playwright, director and producer, rocked houses with lively storylines, unforgettable characters, witty jibes and almost satirical presentation of reality. And Indu’s still at it, undertaking with aplomb the mantle of giving people a chance to laugh at life, circumstance and even at themselves.
Born entertainer, Indu, was at the acting game even as a kid. At school Indu cheered on by his teachers put on his first ‘play’ at the age of twelve for an end of term event. From then on there was no stopping him; every end of term recital, special occasion and annual Kala Ulela held in school saw Indu grow and develop as, not just a playwright, but a director and actor as well.
His involvement with Yolande Abeywira, added a new dimension to his rapidly growing talent. Says Indu, “Under Mrs. Abeywira I learnt stage technique and she really fine tuned my talent”, and adds, “She was my guru” – a line which all those who know Indu are familiar with and one that perfectly sums up his relationship and his deep appreciation for his teacher.
While in England, when studying for his degree, Indu was open to a whole new experience of drama. “Although I didn’t offer drama as a subject, I used to sit in on the drama lectures and I’d make it a point to see plays – whenever I could afford it,” he says with a laugh.
Indu has a Maths degree with Economics, completely contrary to what one expects of this dramatist to have studied. Uncannily, his academic line seems to have had an impact on his life as a playwright. “I learnt to think logically, to think analytically and to always have a very clear frame of thought and that is very important when writing a script.”
With 64 scripts to his name, Indu has written in Sinhala, English and in his trademark ‘Singlish’, which is very popular with his regular audiences who wait for the next ‘Indu-play’ to hit the stage. Indu will always be remembered and loved for his comedies.
Strikingly, in the many comedies he’s written there is a subtle message. Under the hoots of laughter, there is always the nagging hint that there is a need for change. By poking fun at reality, reality is exposed and yet we laugh. That is Indu’s talent; one that springs from his desire to make people laugh.
As Indu continues with his successful career in theatre, he has reached a milestone that he very humbly brags about, “I have beat Shakespeare! I have written more plays than him!”
Indu Dharmasena’s 65th play ‘Love, Lies & Diamonds,’ which he is proud to present will go on the boards of the Lionel Wendt Theatre on 1, 2 and 3 September at 7:30 p.m.
This hilarious story revolves around the philandering owner of Kukulawala Holdings, Kusal Kukulawala, who has ordered a diamond necklace for his new muse. Trouble, confusion and chaos begin, when Kusal’s wife, Deepika, shows up unannounced at the office, sees the necklace and assumes it’s for her. Who will get the necklace? The wife or the girlfriend?
This side-splitting comedy is bound to keep everyone in fits on laughter as they watch a desperate man doing everything possible so that he can have the cake and eat it too.
The colourful cast consists of the legendary Indu Dharmasena playing the philandering owner of Kukulawala group, Kusal Kukulawala. Sulo Perera plays, Menaka the new and naïve secretary. The Jeweller, Percy is played by Jaliya Wijewardena. Sanwada Dharmasena plays Deepika Kukulawala. Kusal’s friend and the company Finance Controller is played by Abbasali Rozais. Aunushan Selvarajah plays the lawyer’s assistant, Asela. Saneesha Ramanayake plays Kusal’s latest muse, Priyanka. And Priyanka Holsinger plays Monica Ellanasooriya.
The shows on 1 and 2 September are presented by Kingswood Union Colombo Branch in aid of its ongoing school development projects.
Tickets are at the Wendt or online: www.lionelwendt.org
Tickets prices: Rs. 2,000, Rs. 1,500, Rs. 1,000 and Balcony (unreserved) Rs. 500.
Print Media Sponsors are Wijeya Publications – Daily Mirror, Daily FT and the Sunday Times. Promotional Partner: Drama Sri Lanka
Cast in order of appearance:
nKusal Kukulawala (Owner of Kukulwala group): Indu Dharmasena
nMenaka (Secretary): Sulo Perera
nPercy Ranaweera (Jeweller): Jaliya Wijewardena
nDanny Sahabandhu (Finance Controller): Abbasali Rozais
nDeepika Kukulawla (The Wife): Sanwada Dharmasena
nAsela (Lawyer’s Assistant): Anushan Selvarajah
nPriyanka Haddagoda (The Girlfriend): Saneesha Ramanayake
nMonica Ellanasooriya (An acquaintance): Priyanka Holsinger