POSTED AT 01:03 AM 17-02-2017
The Thomian Inter House Drama Competition
Image Courtesy: Facebook - The English Drama Society of S. Thomas' College Mount Lavinia
- Thomian Drama Society celebrates 145th anniversary.
- Stone House wins Best Play, Best Playwright (Devishke De Silva) and Best Supporting Actor (Sebastian Sansoni).
- Anuk Dharmasena of Buck House wins Best Actor.
The Annual Inter House English Drama Competition of S. Thomas’ College was held once more at the Main Hall on Saturday, 11th February from 6.30. Pm onwards. This year marks the 145th anniversary of the Thomian Drama Society. The Old Boys’ Day was celebrated on the same day as well, and an eager crowd of Parents and Thomians old and young filled the hall. The Warden Rev. Marc Billimoria, the chaplain Rev. Amal Fernando, and the renowned local dramatists Indu Dharmasena and Jith Peiris graced the occasion. The judges for the evening were Delon Weerasinghe, Sudeshna Ranmuthugala and Vinodh Senadeera.
(Melo)drama behind the fourth wall
The contest started with a bang: the Best Play winner itself, Stone House. ‘Who says there's no drama in drama?’ is a backstage comedy of the rivalry between two groups of actors determined to win the second place at a drama competition, since the top prize was the chance to be a part of the ‘Sweatshop’ Players.
The story is mainly told through a playwright prone to bouts of hallucinatory narcolepsy. It is no wonder the script won Devishke De Silva Best Playwright, as it was full of dream sequences, fourth wall breaking, plays within a play and scenes staged side by side. While the humour was intricate, the tongue in cheek references tickled the audience. Sebastian Sansoni won Best Supporting Actor, for a relatively small role, but was a joy to watch with his over the top performance as the competition host.
When less means more: the wine glass of death
Next up was the Buck House play The Wine Glass written by Anuk Dharmasena. This was an introspective look at the office environment, where a bumbling well-meaning man finds his life spinning out of control as he tries to get a promotion. By throwing a wine glass at his boss.
This was also a comedy, even if the play ended with the death of the protagonist, played by an expressive Ravishke Tissera. Nevertheless the highlight of the show was Anuk Dharmasena, who bagged the trophy for Best Actor for his role as the narrator. An involved narrator is a hard role to pull off, but he did it with subtlety and pizzazz. While Stone House told a complex story simply, Buck House had less story but took more time to reflect and think.
Bless its soul, for this play needed divine intervention
Things took a darker turn with the Wood House play Bless her Soul written by Jonathan Cruse. It was a morality tale of a girl who longs for freedom from abusive parents, but falls to the darker side of online dating.
The boys were brave to tackle the subject of domestic abuse and date rape, but less than stellar acting and scriptwriting lead to no wins. While Linal Fernando brought fragility and empathy to an under written role, the view of sexual exploration and stigma were negative at best and dangerous at worst. Overall, the play was average, but could have been a lot worse..
No Original Funeral
The final play for the night was De Seram House’s comedic entry No Ordinary Funeral.
The competition hit its first snag when the judges decided to penalize the script by Dhanuk Fernando for blatant ripping off the film Death at a Funeral. Nevertheless this was the most entertaining show of the night, with solid acting across the cast, effective props and a black and white funeral themed wardrobe. The play deservingly won Best Director for Dhanuk Fernando and Best Stage Manager for Kazeem Hameem. This was one of the few plays to fill the entire stage with hilarious action and colourful characters.
At the awarding ceremony, Delon Weerasinghe said that the acting this year was very good throughout. He also stressed that the nature of the competition must be observed, and the boys need to come up with original content. The awards were handed out by Jith Peiris, Sudeshna Ranmuthugala and Vinodh Senadeera. The event ended with the jubilant boys crowding on stage for a photograph.