After the popular and artistic success of its preceding public shows, much anticipation surrounded AnandaDrama’s production for the annual Inter School Shakespeare Drama Competition.
Practices began on a small scale in mid-August with a handful of very experienced students, and the search began for the most suitable Shakespeare play for the cast from the competition’s shortlist. After a brief dalliance with The Tempest, which would have exploited the expertise regarding live sets recently acquired through Kensuke’s Kingdom, the directors and cast opted for a more difficult challenge.
Much Ado About Nothing is a play very rarely performed by boys’ schools because of the strong female characters it features. But with several very skillful and accomplished actors in the cast, the directors decided to forge ahead and reinterpret the play as a modern day romantic comedy. Replete with nods to the paparazzi, modern telecommunications technology and the problems of social and romantic interaction in a hyper connected world, the play took the semi-finals of the Shakespeare Drama Competition by storm, being widely acknowledged as the best play on show on the day.
Ananda was an undisputed entrant to the finals of the competition for the second time in three years. The play was ultimately adjudged 2nd Runners Up. In his final performance for Ananda as a student, Nandun Dissanayake won the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Leonato, Ananda’s first-ever acting award at the competition.
Nishantha de Silva