Writing, directing, producing and acting in 65 plays is no easy feat. Although when inquired, Indu very jovially says,
“Well, I’ve written 65 plays not because I wanted to write 65 plays. It so happened….”
Taking to the stage from 1 to 3 September at the Lionel Wend Theatre, is Indu’s newest play ‘Love, Lies and Diamonds’, marking a milestone in the legend’s career.
The play is woven around a rich, established businessman who has a lot of ‘extra- curricular activities’, and a very expensive diamond necklace, which leads them to all the fun and chaos. A desperate man’s attempt to save a marriage while living up to the promises made to his girlfriend is sure to have you rolling in fits of laughter.
We managed to catch the cast to have a quick chat with them.
Here’s a little sneak peak to what you’re in for at the theatre this weekend.
Indu playing Kusal Kukulawala
He’s the chairman of the Kukulawala group. He isn’t really interested in the running of his company (it’s more of a father made the money and he is enjoying s the benefits - situation); he is more interested in his extra- curricular activities. He is happily married with a lovely wife, yet he has a wandering eye. The whole plot is about getting a diamond necklace for his latest interest and hoping to take the relationship to the next level! Does it work? You’ll have to find out for yourselves!
Recalling bits and pieces of his journey in theatre, he tells us how it all happened, although writing this many plays was never something he wanted or hoped to do, with repeated requests from various clubs and societies who took the nights for fundraisers, he just kept on writing.
“Back then, it was all hand written and we use to spend about a week correcting words coz my handwriting wasn’t the best.”
He further went on to say,
“I don’t consider myself a writer, I think of myself more as an entertainer. I make people happy. I don’t have a company or a theatre group. I work with anyone who likes to act and wants to act. In my opinion everyone can act, coz we are acting all the time. It’s just that we have to let go of our inhibitions and enjoy what we’re doing, cause if you enjoy, it’s very easy to get the audience to do the same.”
“I play Menaka, Mr. Kukulawala’s secretary. I’m very new on the job. Extremely enthusiastic and gets in the way of his ‘activities’. Menaka keeps asking way too many questions to such an extent, that it really annoys Mr. Kukulawala."
Having been a part of Indu’s team since 2007 we asked her what her most memorable role was?’
“In my first production with Indu in 2007, “Sky is the Limit”, I was a giddy little girl, throwing myself at Indu, trying to make his wife jealous. It was a small role but very fun. I think it’s one of the roles I enjoyed the most.”
Abbasali Rozais playing the role of Danny Sahabandhu, the financial controller of the Kukulawala group, has has also been Kusal’s friend for a very long time.
“While Danny is morally more responsible than Kusal, he tends to help him with his activities. In the process of helping his friend, he ends up getting into a sticky situation himself, not all too sticky but almost very sticky”
he says as everyone roars in laughter!
Talking about some of his memorable roles with Indu,
“I have been involved in his plays since 2004. I played Andana Silva in Indu’s Tommia series, a role that I quite enjoyed. In ‘Hallo Dolly’, I played Harenda Wanawanegedara, a character role, another role I loved playing.”
Playing Asela, a rather incompetent employee of Mr. Kukulawala working for the legal department. As a result of his incompetency, he keeps coming back and forth, making a few too many errors in his work.
Aushan has been in theatre since he left school. He says he can’t even recall his first play or the number of plays. But he has played it all - from the villain, flirt, ‘sewalaya’, flamboyant character, mean old man to the jolly old man stuck in a wheel chair.
Sanwada will be playing the role of Deepika Kukulawala, Kusal’s wife. She adds laughingly
“In the play too, I’m again playing his wife. Just like in the past few productions much to my dissatisfaction.”
Deepika is the wife of an established businessman.
“She’s not frivolous, she’s in a perfect marriage, she’s happy and comfortable.”
The play takes a turn when she walks into office to find that there’s a necklace for her. Is it really for her though?
Answering the most asked question - how is it like to work with your husband?
“Good and bad things. If I need time off he obviously needs time off, no need to apply for leave, leave’s always approved but he’ll also wake me up at 2 o’clock in the morning and ask me to get various things done.”
“I’ve been working with Indu since 2004. The first play was ‘Madai Tomia 007’. I was only a dancer. My first play with lines was “Gemba Prince”. Since then I’ve been in every single production,” she recalls. “I’ve played the wife, girlfriend, annoying aunty, gossipy woman and anything a female can possibly be.”
Marking her debut in theatre, Saneesha will be playing Indu’s newest love interest - “Priyanka”.
“This is my first time playing a role with lines although I’ve sung on stage before. I’m Kusal’s latest interest. He is bribing me with jewellery to take our relationship to the next level”.
Working with Indu for the first time, having known him since she was a baby, she jokingly adds that it does get a little awkward especially when she has to flirt with him, but she finds it really interesting and fun.
Aeronautical engineer by profession, Jaliya too has been involved in theatre since school.
“This my third play with Indu. I play Percy, the jeweller, I come on at the start of the play delivering the necklace in question”
which leads up to all the madness.
“The cast is really fun, it’s really comfortable and we are quite at home here.”
Playing Monica Ellansooriya, a rather bothersome lady who is good hearted yet a bit of a pain with the various things she wants done for her charities. Having known and worked with Indu for over 20 years, going all the way back to the early 90’s she says,
“I really enjoy working with his group.”
‘Love, Lies and Diamonds’ will be staged at the Lionel Wendt from 1 to 3 September at the Lionel Wendt theatre.
Tickets priced at Rs.2000/- , Rs.1500/- , Rs.1000/- and Balcony (unreserved) Rs.500/= are available at the Wendt or online www.lionelwendt.org
The show is on 1 & 2 September 2017 and is presented by Kingswood Union Colombo Branch in aid of their ongoing school development projects.
The play with its very interesting plotline is sure to keep you entertained till the last minute, giving you all the belly laughs you possibly need. Do make your way to the theatre this weekend to catch Kusal Kukulawala and his ladies in action!
Pics by Zeeshan Akram Jabeer.