Posts Tagged ‘Stage Light & Magic’

Till we meet again…

The knife has cut an inch deeper now. Almost as if it knew how long it could cut to a certain depth before the numbness sets in. I can’t seem to do the one surefire thing to ease my pain… I can’t find a song that relates to my mood. I want to sing all our songs over and over again and cherish the pain because it keeps me closer to you. The curtain is closed. For the last time. The last vocal warm up. The last make-up call. The last circle of love. The last second on stage. Elsie’s Bar was truly a place I could trust. Probably the best bar in the world. And it’s closed for business now. But before it did, it healed my broken heart.

As I hugged each of you for the last time, I handed over a piece of me to you. I have fallen in love with each of you in my own way and you have walked away, taking me with you. And it hurts. This is my tribute to the magical souls I shared the last six months of my life with. 

Feroze… Naana… you’re truly a magnificent person. A visionary director who believed in my lost soul. And for that I thank you. Your intelligence, your passion for theatre and your big brotherly attitude with us is truly the embodiment of the word “naana” which we fondly call you. I love you truly Naana and I’ll never forget what you have done for me through the years as a friend & a director. 

Sij, your temper mixed with your teddy-bear like sweetness will always make me fond of you. I also have so much respect for the fact that you treat everyone the same and wouldn’t even hesitate to yell at Naana of you have to. Watching you mime all our songs backstage was an absolute scream, especially “but he killed Rosie & Gilda”! 

Dinna, my partner in crime when it comes to harassing anyone just for kicks. A high five to you. You’re wouldn’t hesitate to count me as one of the guys & still come up with every possible boob joke you can muster up to annoy me. 

Rana, you’re truly an amazing musician and an overall nice guy. I’ve worked with you so many times before and was even a groupie during the Kreb’s Cycle days. And every time, you reinvent yourself and bring something new to the party. The daily hot box sessions after practices which I have occasionally popped in for have been truly memorable. 

Katunayake Dilan, our very own vocal director and much feared thug at the airport. An addition to the party and a welcome one. You constantly thought I hated you because of my killer gazes. I’m glad we cleared that one out! You’re amazingly talented for your age and I’m happy to count you as a friend. 

Mikey & Princo… the two of you are such darlings. And so is that amazing little Malli of yours. Russell Daminen Sam Holsinger am I right? I’ve worked with you, acted with you, drunk with you and been in awe of the amazing lighting design you concocted in the last few productions that I have been in along with your amazing cocktails. I love the two of you like I love my own parents. I really do. 

Brandix, my kindred spirit. I’m glad we finally shared a stage together. You have opened my eyes to so many things about myself that I have been afraid to admit for so long. You see me for me. Very few people do. And for that I love you. I am in dumbstruck at the levels of energy and passion you carry on to the stage, every moment you are there, passing on some of it to the rest of us with you. You are the epitome of talent and I am honoured to know you.

Nathan, I am so proud of you. I have seen you come out of your shell and shine. You have the kindest soul and a passion for Harry Potter which I share. Everytime I look at my bookshelf & see the copy of Beedle the Bard you gave me, I will remember you and smile. 

Gayan. Mugabe. You were one of my babies long before this production began. I have watched you grow into an amazingly powerful actor through the years and still not lose your edge of sensitivity. I love your beat up car and I think it adds character to your personality. You’re one of the first babies I adopted in theatre when we worked backstage together on Run for Your Wife and I have loved you since. I hope you find what you don’t know you’re looking for my friend, because you more than deserve it. 

Absent, my dear sweet Joey. You’re someone I can sit down & talk to until the sun rises in the west. 😉 You have that same “I can’t go to sleep after a good night out” madness that I do which results in some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with anyone. You listen to me whine over & over again, and still know exactly what to say to me. This production cut a little too close to home for you & it brought out a newer, more passionate side to your performance which was mesmerising to say the least & I am in awe of you. I know I’ve made a friend for life & this production was a reaffirmation of that. 

Swasha, you darling, slow-on-the-uptake, wanna-be-the-stylish-one, dahling! You are an amazing actress, a super friend and someone I would love to act with over and over again. You bring something to a production that is bigger than just your acting skills, you bring with you your ability to make us all smile. You asked me last night why you end up being the most bugged person in the cast, it’s probably because you’re also the most endearing. You’re a soft, gentle, compassionate, beautiful soul and I love you for it. 

Natasha, you’re a goddess. It was truly amazing to have you on stage with us. Someone as talented & famous as you being on stage and pulling off a kick ass acting performance to boot was truly wow. You sang powerfully, slapped Yasas and Gayan with such finesse and made your audience clap not only at your singing but your hilarious acting as well. Please come back and act again, I loved exchanging those evil glares with you on stage & our scene together was truly fun. Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your life with me that made so much sense of mine. You have really been an inspiration to me. 

Gypsy… you’re exactly what everyone says you are… a ray of sunshine in each of our lives. Especially mine. You have a special blend of magic you’ve woven into each of our hearts with every little second you’ve spent with us and unlike the few of us who knew, your beautiful smile never faltered letting people know that your heart was broken. You seemed to have been placed there to heal ours instead. And you did nothing short of that. You are the true spirit of la vie boheme. You have a special place in my heart baby girl and that’s exactly where you’re going to stay. 

Maheshika, Latha Walpola’s prettier, long lost twin. You have never ceased to amuse us with your natural talent for comedy and it shows when you’re out there on stage. You’ve got this perpetual mischievous grin on your face that says you’re always upto something. I am so honoured to have shared Rosie Crantz with you. You gave her such a fitting farewell that I had tears of joy in my eyes watching you on closing night. And the boobies aren’t a touch on how big your heart is. 

Tracy, my little mighty mouse. For the tiniest member of the cast you have managed to terrorize all of us including giants like Raj & Yas. I honestly pity the man who’ll marry you thinking you’re this tiny, adorable thing and then see the harpy that rises from within. You’re amazingly talented, have way too much energy than it’s possible for one tiny human being to have and I have thoroughly enjoyed exacting my revenge on you each night on stage, turning you from your bearded disguise into a bashful, blushing little girl. You’re perfection in the tiniest package possible… you’re a doll. 

Buddhima… my rock & roll nangi. You have inspired us all with your music and lyrics and quiet way of overcoming the mountains life seems to place in your way. You’re awesome and I am going to become your number one groupie someday. You rock my world. Just remember that we are all here for you in the bad times as well and that you don’t have to handle all the shit that is dealt to you all alone… your problem is everyone’s problem and we’ll get though anything together.

Pasan… you’re a special child. We connected fairly early on in this production & that connection has never wavered. No we will not lose touch, we will continue to message eachother the weirdest things in the middle of the day or night & share our passions for the queer side of life. I know you’re going places in your life & I couldn’t have been able to tell that you had only done Sinhala theatre since you clutched on to the role pf Ben Johnson with such finesse & it was an experience to watch you. 

Pierre, you darling… constantly forgetting your lines, adding in your little bits n pieces, making me want to crack up on stage. That vigorous spank you give me on your non-existent bum at the beginning of the play has swollen it into existence now! You’ll never forget to come looking for me before I get on stage and wish me all the best. You always come looking for me to congratulate me when I do well in a scene and that means a lot to me. 

Saajid, you started off with us looking all awkward and unsure of yourself and when you found your wings became such an annoying little darling. You’d get on stage and become the bane of every single actor you possibly could resulting in me slapping right across the face on stage during performance nights, everytime you would lecherously demand my attention. You have more soul in you that a lot of us do. Your encouraging mail to us on opening night uplifted all of us, giving us the strength to go on. 

Kevin, another on of my babies from before and my very own Harry Potter on Drums. For someone who joined us to be part of the band, you have turned into such a talented actor and I am so proud of you. Your amazing sense of humour makes you an instant darling of the stage. You’re a pleasure to watch and super friend to have in any production. Here’s to many more together my little padwan. 

Sanjeewa, you crack me up. Everyday. Every rehearsal. Every performance. Without fail. You’ve perfected the fine art of singing & speaking in squeaky falsetto and it’s brilliant. I’ll never forget how you kept chucking fake money in my boob to get rid of me everytime I tried to make you lose a game of cards or draughts on stage. You’ve got classic expressions on your face my friend and I can’t wait to act with you again and again and again… 

Dinesh, my personal pervert. I love acting with you on stage and off it. Between the two of us we can concoct the most vulgar things to do, just for kicks. You are my soul mate on the dance floor & my friend when I want to sit down and drown my sorrows with. You and I go way back and we’ll never lose touch, never stop being friends and never stop being utterly vulgar when we can. I love you and will jump on you when I see you next. 

Yasas. My Loku Lamaya. My apple-cheeked doll. Moreover, my Malli. I love you truly, madly, deeply. You instinctively know when I’m upset, know exactly how to handle me & when all else fails, to hold me when I cry or just need someone to be close to take the pain away. You’re the bestest little brother a girl could ask for… almost! Don’t you ever stop writing or acting or expressing yourself in one way or the other. That silent storm raging in your head you keep trying to ignore is there for a reason. And if you ever need anything, I’m here. I’m sure you didn’t call me akki for some random reason. So my phone’s on and my heart is open 24/7.

Yashoda, my cutie pie. It’s official. I am adopting you and I am NOT kidding. I’m just trying to figure out the legalities of it, until then I suggest you start packing & kissing your present family goodbye. You have the most adorable expressions that even puppies can’t beat. You manage to look like an angel even while humping Dinesh on stage and that’s just amazing. You’re mine and no one is taking you away from me!!! 

Anush, my anus. You came back. And now you’re leaving all over again. We bonded over Sunday morning Milos at my house where we’d pour our hearts out to eachother whilst nursing our hangovers. Come back to me soon Gonzago. You’re my neighbour, my friend and another one of my babies from a time that’s imprinted in my heart forever. You tried your hardest not to get emotionally attached to this production but I know you did and I know how hard that must be for you because it’s a whole new set of goodbyes all over again. I’ll miss you babe.

Randy you are brand new and it never showed. You have the soul of someone who’s been in theatre all his life. You were supposed to play a lead but you were big enough to step down when you realized you hadn’t dedicated enough time to you role. A lot of people I know just crave the limelight of theatre. You my friend, just wanted the passion. And that’s rare. I remember how you clutched on to me to ease by unending cough and tears on our dress rehearsal night when I didn’t think I could do it. You held me until it all subsided so that I could go out there and kick some ass. Thank you for that and I’ll never forget you.

Dilrukshi you’re a sweety with your peter pan tights. You have beautifully expressive features and should be in theatre more often. You remember my harmonies when I forget them and holler them in my ear so that I don’t look bad on stage. You’re not so shady my girl, you’re a real star. Always helpful, an actress who is smart on stage, fixing other people’s problems when you can and trying to keep everyone’s energy levels high with your bouncy attitude. Thank you. 

And that is why my heart is broken. When so many people do so much for you, you tend to let your heart be taken away by them. The tears that were building up whilst I wrote this are falling shamelessly now. How do I go on without you in my life every day? How do I come to terms with the fact that it’s all over? How do I go on with my miserable existence when I know I am so much more when you are with me? Goodbye my beautiful angels at Elsie’s Bar. This play was the thing I was looking for to heal me and it truly has. Everytime I pour out a drink from now on, I will drink to us. 


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Before I get to what this ridiculously titled post is about, let me tell you that rehearsals are going fantastically. So much so that on a good high after a final run through of our songs, some of us thought of going out for a bite to eat last night. Pilla was crowded and everywhere else was closed so we decided to strut into Cinnamon Grand to have some munchies at the Coffee Stop.

We just sat down on one of their big comfy couches and were about to order and relax and talk about how the play was going and have a general recap of the rehearsal.

(On that note, I need to add an aside here. Everywhere I go, no matter what I do or who I’m with, I can’t seem to stop talking about the play. Non-stop. And I know I’m almost pissing people off to the point. It can get irritating, this obsession with theatre I tell you.)

Back to the story.

We were all tired and needed something in our stomachs desperately. One of my friends were in a pair of ¾. And as a result we were promptly asked to leave because he was in shorts. What bloody clothists I tell you! No one was indecently dressed or looked like ragamuffins for that matter either. We just wanted bloody food which we were more than willing to pay for! And when we argued that he was not in shorts per se, we were told to hop on down to Cheers who apparently would entertain our attire. So the area that costs more allows shorts vs a reasonably priced sandwich bar would entertain what we were wearing? Go figure.

Of course then we realized that most of us were in slippers and wouldn’t be entertained there either, so with a remark about the place also being slipperists, we stomped off. We did find food at Hot Shots and we did have the conversation we wanted.

A poor cast member and a wonderful friend, who plays Claude in the play was the main subject of conversation in that a scene of his that begins with the line “oh heavy deed” was something we all find particularly amusing. I know he’ll be reading this and probably kill us when he discovers that we spend our post rehearsal time imitating him, but he needs to know that our deed wasn’t all that heavy. 🙂

More tales about the folk from Elsie’s Bar will follow in the next few days. So stay tuned to this blog and the black lullaby in the lead up to opening night. A pre-production cat party is planned for tonight too. And probably a perfect night for it. When Friday the 13th generally rolls around, good things happen to me. 😉

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Meet Elsie’s Ladies – Ophelia, Layartee, Gilda & the Rosies


Photographers – Nuzzy Jalaldeen & Dininda Paranahewa

Hamlet at Elsie’s Bar, a place full of incidents, love affairs and accidents. Where people are killed and people die, where some laugh and some others cry.

Brought to you by Stage Light & Magic Inc.

from 20th February to 1st March at the Lionel Wendt Theatre

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Meet the men of Elsie’s Bar – Part 1 











The Shakespeares, the Horatios and Claude. Pictures courtesy of Nuzreth Jalaldeen and Dininda Paranahewa

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Firstly, sorry for the silence. I have been overwhelmingly busy with work and also a bit overwhelmed about what to write honestly. RD & Cerno declare that I am blogger of the year. You know, the big one. I am still recovering from the shock. And it made me feel that I was supposed to write something epic and tear-jerking or ROTF kinda funny. Well I can’t damn you, I can’t! When you spend so much time focusing on the work related writing and telling people to sip serendipity and other corny things I have been forced to write this week, nothing really epic, funny or even barely readable comes to mind.

And now you’re all off to GLF whilst alas I have no possible way of asking for leave with my workload. Ok admitted this year’s line up isn’t as inviting as last time. But you’re all going to be there and I want to catch another performance of looking through my earphones. I loved it so much when I saw it on Monday at the British Council and I would love to see it again. Sigh. Double sigh. Dammit. I hope you all step on poo and trip! As long as no serious bodily harm is done, I do wish this on all of you!!! Do you know how much I love that drive? I know exactly where to speed up. When to slow down and still get there in under 2 hours. And I also know when to let the shutters down, light up a smoke and watch it burn faster than I can smoke it. Aiyo. You guys are going to have all the fun.

But Hamlet rehearsals have started to get really interesting. For those of you who don’t know the play is called Hamlet at Elsie’s Bar. It’s a world premiere, actually. A comic take on how Shakespeare discovered the plot for Hamlet. “Apparently” there was a has-been “stage” in his life and his muse had simply taken leave from work. So he had to depend on the antics of the patrons of Elsie’s Bar, way down Nor Road. Elsie-Nor…get it? Elsienore Castle in Hamlet? Ok then, nevermind. Read an abridged version of the plot of Hamlet and come watch the play. HAEB opens on the 20th of February at the Lionel Wendt. I’ll be posting more on the play as opening night draws nearer. Until then, visit the FB Group for pictures and more updates.

Now that I have told you about the play and calmed down sufficiently, I would like to graciously tell you all to have a good time at the GLF and think of me when you can. If you have time, please take a bite of one of those delicious pizzas at Spaghetti & Co., in Hikka for me too. I didn’t seriously mean the bit about the poo, but if you do step in a pile of it, be nice enough & tell me about it, will you?

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