The “Inter-School House Cup 2018” was held on Monday the 04th of June which saw seven outstanding schools in Sri Lanka battle it out on the Lionel Wendt Stage for the second consecutive year of this competition.
The competition showcased some electrifying performances from Wesley College, St. Peter’s College, St. Joseph’s College, Lyceum International School, Royal College and Vishakha Vidyalaya, bringing to life an absolutely delightful and competitive evening of theatre. Visakha Vidhyalaya’s Motwani house was crowned this year’s champion, with their winning adaptation of the “The Murder at Haversham Manor”, whilst Marque house from St. Joseph’s College were placed Runners-up with their excerpt from the play “The Magic Hour”.
The event was organized by the theatre troupe “Cold Theatre7”, popularly known as CT7, for the second year running, with the main objective of providing students the opportunity to explore other features of a stage production.
Those who gain entry to the House Cup are the winning houses of each of the Inter-House Drama competitions held at the school level so that we give them a chance to compete with others. The objective of the event is to not only celebrate the actors but all other aspects that go into making a production successful as well - those on stage as well as off stage. CT7 encourages the students themselves who participate in this event to design their own sets, operate the lighting, create effects on stage, doing their own makeup, managing the stage, editing their own music, and even writing their own scripts.
Whilst there is no doubt that this platform will create a strong pool of young actors and directors for the future of theatre in Sri Lanka, CT7 aims at helping students from all schools island-wide to mature not only as actors and actresses but also to study, understand and explore the various features of a production.
Panel of Judges and Awards
The panel of judges presiding at the competition consisted of four highly recognized theatre personalities in Sri Lanka, in the likes of Jerome. L. De Silva, Sashane Perera, Tracy Jayasinghe and Nishantha De Silva. In addition to the four main judges, there were several other specialist judges appointed for each of the category awards which comprised of awards for Best Ensemble, Best Choreography, Best Backstage Crew, Best Lighting and Special Effects, Best Music, Best Set Design, Best Costumes, Best Make-up, Best Original Script, Digital Award - User Engagement & Reach, and Digital Award - Creativity. Among these awards, the Digital awards category was a new addition to the list this year, to encourage the schools to promote their respective production among fans, through the means of social media and reach. CT7 plans to introduce many more special awards in the years to come in order to enhance the competition further.
A special “Fan Favorite” prize was awarded to the actor/actress of each school who the judges felt was the audience’s favorite character in their respective production. The following is the list of awards, along with the winners:
CHAMPIONS - VISAKHA VIDYALAYA
RUNNER UP - ST. JOSEPH'S COLLEGE
BEST DIRECTOR - Sashini Mudalige -Visakha Vidyalaya
BEST MALE PORTRAYAL - Rumashi Dissanayake – Visakha Vidyalaya
Thaaqi Jeffrey - St. Joseph's College
BEST FEMALE PORTRAYAL - Shaini Edirisooriya - Lyceum International School Wattala
BEST SUPPORTING MALE PORTRAYAL - Tharindu Mahendra - Mahinda College
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE PORTRAYAL - Annaliza Cherilyn Mottau - Lyceum International School Wattala
FAN FAVOURITE AWARD
LYCEUM INTERNATIONAL WATTALA - Krishakar Prabaharan
MAHINDA COLLEGE - Yukthi Dinujaya
ROYAL COLLEGE - Suneragiri Liyanage & Niven Dorabawila
ST. JOSEPH'S COLLEGE - Brenden Hakel
ST. PETER'S COLLEGE - Nethaka Fernando
VISAKHA VIDYALAYA - Theruni Indrapala
WESLEY COLLEGE - Ahmed Adam Thurab
BEST ENSEMBLE - Mahinda College
DIGITAL AWARD - USER ENGAGEMENT & REACH Mahinda College
DIGITAL AWARD - CREATIVITY Visakha Vidyalaya
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY - Mahinda College
BEST BACKSTAGE CREW - St. Peter's College
BEST MUSIC & SOUNDS - Royal College
BEST LIGHTING & SPECIAL EFFECTS - Mahinda College
BEST SET DESIGN - Visakha Vidyalaya
BEST COSTUMES - Royal College
BEST MAKE-UP Lyceum International School - Wattala
BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT Royal College
Wesley College started off the evening with their performance of “The Shoemaker’s Holiday”. The young cast took on a challenging script, with a standout actor in Ahmed Adam Thurab who played the role of the Duke’s daughter. The judges critiqued the use of set in the play, stating the play would have been enhanced with a more thought through staging.
Next, it was St. Peter’s College, who took on the comedic extract from “The Passenger” which was well-staged, keeping the crowd entertained throughout with their wonderful comic timing. St. Peter’s consisted of some very strong, natural actors in the likes of Nethaka Fernando and Dylan Walker who stole the show from the outset, creating some great energy on stage. The judges made note of the accents that were used in the play, advising that context and setting must be borne in mind in this regard.
Lyceum International School Wattala took to the Lionel Wendt stage next, with their enthralling excerpt from the Arthur Miller classic “The Crucible”. The production boasted an interesting set design, dark costumes and background music to create the mood of the play. Lyceum boasted a strong ensemble, but the judges remarked that certain set pieces took away from the acting. Stand out performances for the evening were those of Annaliza Cherilyn Mottau, Krishakar Prabaharan and Shaini Edirisooriya. They went on to win the Best Female Portrayal in a Supporting Role, the Fan Favorite Award, and the Best Female Portrayal, respectively.
The defending champions St. Joseph’s College presented their excerpt from the Play “The Magic Hour” earning them the Runner Up title this year. It was an intelligent production with a strong ensemble performance. All cast members played on an equal level and maintained the energy right through. Brendan Hakel stole the show with his hilarious performance as Franky the DJ, earning him the Fan Favorite award, whilst Thaaqi Jeffrey’s nuanced performance in the role of James helped win him the award for the Best Male Portrayal.
Up next on the itinerary was Royal College, presenting the only Original Script of the competition, “The Song of the Pond”. The show began with intense choreography which added to the cleverly-written script. The ensemble was in sync from start to finish, producing some great movement with a subtle choice of props and music - even creating a human ‘machine’ of 10 cast members. Royal College bagged the Best Music Award for their originality in instrumental music, as well as the award for Best Costumes.
Mahinda College, Galle, presented their production of “The Eumenides” by Aeschylus, praised by the judges as the competition’s most outstanding production effort. This was also the youngest cast of the competition, capturing the audience with synchronized stunts and choreography of an ensemble of over 25 students, bringing Aeschylus’ Furies to life. Mahinda College nabbed several awards of the night, including accolades for Best Choreography, Best Ensemble, Best Lighting and Effects, the Digital Awards for User Engagement and Reach, as well as the Best Male Portrayal in a Supporting Role which went to Tharindu Mahendra.
Saving the best for last was Visakha Vidyalaya, with their excerpt from ‘The Murder from Haversham Manor – a Play within a Play.’ The cast and pseudo-crew had the entire audience in stitches from the get-go, with the havoc of all the possible theatrical mishaps possible, played out on stage. While pieces of set collapsed and lines were forgotten, it was evident that the role of Thomas, played by Theruni Indrapala, was the clear Fan Favourite, while Rumashi Dissanayake with her memorable portrayal of the show’s discombobulated director, took home the award for Best Male Portrayal. While Visakha took home the champions trophy, the title of Best Director was awarded to Sashini Mudalige for her directorial efforts.
We would also like to thank our main sponsor for the event – Informatics Institute of Technology for the support provided to make this project a success.