The story of Kalumaali is a much loved and often repeated fairy tale in seven-year-old Saki’s family. In fact, it is the one story that little Saki can never get enough of.
Through the different accounts of this fairy tale that Saki loves, we see the complex and deep realities of the several adults in her life – and the interplay between them – which lead us to insights about the experience of bringing up children in modern times.
Kalumaali – A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups looks at contemporary family life and the challenges that it throws parents, grandparents and children – all of whom strive to keep up with their ever-changing roles in a fast paced world.
Shifting seamlessly from reality to fantasy, Kalumaali holds together the harsh realities of modern life with the eternal joy of storytelling.
Kalumaali is available for commissioning in both English and in Sinhala.
First created by her mother’s mother, and now recited to her by her own mother, Kalumaali is the one story that little Saki cannot get enough of. Because, she knows, that every time it is recited, she can look forward to a new spin to it. Her mother, Dil, a former journalist, who gave up her work in order to stay at home with Saki, cannot help but change the story every time she tells it afresh; and being the good writer that she is, she cannot help it reflecting whatever is going on in her life at that moment. Consciously, or unconsciously, Kalumaali has become a way for Dil to understand her own life – and what transpires in it. Saki… well, she just loves the stories her mother tells her.
There are other people in Saki’s life too – her father Kalana, her father’s mother Gedara Achchi, who lives with them, her mother’s mother Film Achchi, a famous and much sought after actress. To these people, too, Saki turns, for stories; and they oblige, with their own versions of the Kalumaali tale.
Kalumaali – started with a four day run at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, in September 2013. Two days – English Performance, Two days – Sinhala Performance. This was the first time that a play had opened simultaneously in two languages in Sri Lanka. Many audience members came to watch the play in both languages.
Kalumaali had excellent houses for its opening run, selling out two of its four-day run. Because of the success of the initial run we followed the show up with a performance in December – which also had good houses.
The Sinhala show was subsequently commissioned for performance by Play House Kotte – for its Youth Theatre Festival in December 2012. For this show, the male lead, Peter D’ Almeida was replaced by Miranga Ariyaratne (who originally joined the production as the Sound Controller!). Miranga continued to play the male lead.
In April 2013 an English show of Kalumaali was commissioned for a fund raiser. Once again we enjoyed an almost sell out success and good audience reviews.