Kalumaali – A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups

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.

Performance history

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.



Kalumaali should be applauded for many reasons, amongst which is, the mettle it possess as being a work that strikingly captures a facet of contemporary Sri Lankan thinking through the magic of theatre”

- Sunday Observer

Credits description

  • Directed by – Ruwanthie de Chickera
  • Assistant directors – Nadie Kammallaweera
  • Jayampathi Guruge
  • Prasanna Mahagamage
  • Written by – Nadie Kammallaweera
  • Ruwanthie de Chickera
  • Produced by – Sanda Wijeratne, Hasini Haputhanthri, Prasad Pereira

Performed by – Lakmini Seneviratne, Nadie Kammallaweera ,Peter D’Almeida, Miranga Ariyaratne, Kaushalya Fernando, Shyalina Muthumudalige, Sahala Anees, Juanita Beling, Gihan de Chickera, Dhanushka Dias, Shenali Rajkumar, Malshani Delgahapitya, Nadie Kammallaweera, Lakmini Seneviratne,  Jayampathi Guruge

Juanita Beling & the Backstage Crew

Crew : Ruwan Malith, Jerome L. de Silva, Ranil Goonewardene, Charitha Attalage, Jayampathi Guruge, Ranga Samarakoon, Dino Corera, Rukman Thilakaratne, Chiran Medis, Malshani Delgahapitiya, Dhanushka Dias

Backstage Crew: Jayampathi Guruge, Malshani Delgahapitiya, Pramila Samarakoon, Sameera Kulathunga, Gagana Hettiarachchi, Stephan Thirimanna, Sideeq Ahmad, Amaz Irshad

Updates and Rehearsal Logs