The continuing enigma of Sinhabahu. Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page. South of the border down sampans’ port. The verdict has to be a unanimous one. With little formal education, Pathirana is a self-taught artist but says a sound academic education would have made his journey in the field smoother. But actor cum director Athula Pathirana who has successfully directed a play that questions whether a majority decision is always the right one, has found that inspiring and challenging people to think outside the box can be a daunting task. An ancient village, a ruin by the sea and stories of pearls from Taprobane. An adventure like no other.

The verdict has to be a unanimous one. A feast of haute couture. The colonel is a lady. The play revolves around the member jury that has been asked to deliberate on the fate of a juvenile male offender accused of homicide, punishment for which is the death penalty. It immediately caught my interest but it took several years to get the script ready, plan out the play, for casting and rehearsals,” he says. He was bitten by the acting bug while still in school, travelling five hours by bus to and from Colombo to watch a two hour stage play, but it is this kind of passion for theatre that has enabled him to develop both as an actor and director. An easy task, we would assume, living in a country where sovereignty is constitutionally enshrined in the people.

Revisiting an ‘angry dozen’

He was bitten by the acting bug while still in school, travelling five hours by bus to and from Colombo to watch a two dolabak stage play, but it is this kind of passion for theatre that has enabled him to develop both as an actor and director.

The play starts with 11 members of the jury convinced that the young boy is guilty while one juror has a ‘reasonable doubt” based on the sage presented in court. Three shows staged at the Lionel Wendt in Colombo were sold out, while the two shows in Kegalle also attracted vast interest. A feast of haute couture.

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Royalty walking off the page. The continuing enigma of Sinhabahu.

South of the border down sampans’ port. With little formal education, Pathirana is a self-taught artist but says a sound academic education would have made his journey in the field smoother.

Changing the theatrical status quo

An easy task, we would assume, living in a country where sovereignty is constitutionally solahak in the people. And it’s not a process that has to stabe confined to a set of jurors, it’s a process that can be applied in any other form of deliberation,” ‘Pathirana adds. It is change that Pathirana wants to bring about with his work in theatre, be it acting or direction.

Sinhala-English is a language with rules of its own. It immediately drwma my interest but it took several years to get the script ready, plan out the play, for casting and rehearsals,” he says. Being a stickler for detail, he also spent months planning how best to promote the play and putting the actors through the dialogue.

An ancient village, a ruin by the sea and stories of pearls from Taprobane. Unless that happens, it is difficult to hold the interest of an audience with a drab setting of a rundown jury room and with no distractions by way of music, dance and no colourful costumes. Changing the rdama status quo.

An adventure like no other. A family narrative in a time of historical upheaval. The verdict has to be a unanimous one.

Another challenge was to get all the actors to rehearsal on a single day, given the fact that several were full time actors with other commitments, but so far things have gone smoothly.

Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.

Changing the theatrical status quo

The seed of dissension is cast by the single juror as to whether the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt which culminates with each of the others beginning to re-evaluate what they had heard from witnesses and have doubts of their own if the accused is in fact guilty of homicide. And it is equally important to go out and do what you want to do without waiting for things to happen,” says Pathirana, who has won several awards in his career including the best actor award at the State Drama Festival in for his role in the short play Mama saha mama me and myself.

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Drama should be an educational process that will stimulate the intellect of the people and get them thinking long after the curtains have come down on the show but that is vastly lacking in the country,” says Pathirana 38 who found his escape from the laid back lifestyle of his home town in Matale by taking an early interest in acting. How easy is it to get people to question a well-established status quo; for example what is right or wrong about the judicial system darma a country?

The play revolves around the member jury that has been asked to deliberate on the fate of a juvenile male offender accused of homicide, punishment for which is the death penalty. The colonel is a lady.

Letters to drwma Editor.

DOLAHAK (දොළහක්)

With his latest production “Dolahak” director Athula Pathirana challenges both his cast and the audience to focus on the acting and the message. But actor cum director Athula Pathirana who has state directed a play that questions whether a majority decision is always the right one, has found that inspiring and challenging people to think outside the box can be a daunting task.

Similarly if we don’t change and stick with only the “tried and tested’ ways, then there is no room for creativity to grow,’ he adds. With his latest play “Dolahak”, an adaptation of American writer Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men, Pathirana has ventured into new territory, the first time he’s tackling an adaptation.