Cold Theatre 7’s amateur production of ‘The Opposite Sex’ directed by Kevin Cruze will be staged on 16, 17, and 18 November at 7.30 p.m. at the Lionel Wendt.
Set in the ‘80s, the play weaves its story around two acts, where we see two unhappy marriages, both of which have unfortunately intertwined.
The opposite sex is an R-rated play, however director Kevin Cruze swears that there will be no foul language, and if you, like him, cringe at the mere thought of swearing, then you should have no fear, as the rating is attributed to the innuendo that’s sure to have you in stitches.
Speaking about why he chose this particular play, Kevin said: “I work full-time, but I really wanted to do a play this year. And I’ve not done comedy in a while, so I thought this was the best choice.”
The comedy he refers to was even before his Cold Theatre days; a local reworking of Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors’ hilariously tiled: ‘Lankawe twins kalabala’.
About his cast, Kevin spoke very fondly of them all; referring to this production which is largely an unknown title, he said he’s invested in a brilliantly diverse ensemble of talented and also rather very experienced collectives to bring to life ‘The Opposite Sex’.
The cast members
Meet marriage counsellor, Vicky, and her ‘’yuppie” husband, Mark
Vicky – Sulochana Perera
Vicky has a comfortable, financially stable life, but she’s an unhappy spouse feeling frustrated and untrusting of always-busy-with-work husband, Mark.
About Sulochana – A St. Bridget’s College alumni, she’s been a part of theatre since her interschool Shakespeare competition days. Sulochana’s acting career boasts of a wide variety of plays, far too many to list but when asked to name a few of her highlights, she rather warmly recalled ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ with The Workshop Players, and her most recent ones which included ‘The Garage Show’ by Idea Couch and ‘Move Over Mrs. Markham’ by Silent Hands Productions.
Mark – Shehan Wijemanne aka ‘Babs’
Mark is laid back, bubbly, and usually awkward with the ladies, compared to his far smoother counterpart Derrick.
About Babs – Having been a part of theatre for nearly two decades, starting with his very first out of school production ‘Bengal Bungalow’ with CentreStage Productions, Bubs hasn’t slowed down. Having trained professionally in music, he is currently a part of TNL Onstage. With largely comedic roles in his repertoire, Bubs feels right at home with his latest involvement, feeling quite strongly that the audience will have no trouble embracing his character.
Mark – Nigel Wayne White
About Nigel – Also playing Mark, on the second night, he is the youngest cast member and has been a part of a number of plays since Shakes in school, where he was directed by Kevin Cruze himself at St. Joseph’s College. His first experience with local English theatre was with ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ by The Workshop Players, which made a profound impact on the emergent budding theatre performer, leading up to now, when he is in a production alongside many he’s looked up to for years.
Meet naively imprudent Jeannette, and her politically-inclined husband Derrick
Jeannette – Kavitha Gunasekera
Jeannette is a kind-hearted, debilitating naivety whose actions largely give way to the unfortunate circumstances that befall the rest of the characters.
About Kavitha – Her very first out of school production was ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and then immediately afterwards Cold Theatre 7’s very first play ‘And Then There Were None’. Kavitha has been a part of all subsequent plays with Cold Theatre 7 and also most recently ‘Stormy Weather’ by CentreStage Productions.
She’s an ardent fan of theatre, either as an actor or part of the backstage crew, and she believes that if you truly love theatre, you’ll love all aspects of it: “It’s a lot of elements coming together and you enjoy it all.”
Derrick – Wasaam Ismail
Derrick is uncultured, and resentful of the yuppie culture. He doesn’t make as much money as the easy-going Mark, while at the same time he is leagues beyond Mark when it comes to the ladies.
About Wasaam – a recipient of the all-island best actor award back in his school days for Shakes, his theatre career since then spans nearly 16 years. Wassam is also a director himself, he’s written and directed his own play, and also directed for the StageLight&Magic Inc.
Despite being a director, Wasaam prefers acting, saying: “Directing takes far too much effort.” Adding that while “acting isn’t effortless, a director has to worry about a lot of elements, even with other people handling it, they still worry.”
Cold Theatre 7’s amateur production of ‘The Opposite Sex’ is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH LTD, and is directed by Kevin Cruze.
When? 16, 17, and 18 November at 7.30 p.m.
Where? Lionel Wendt
Tickets? Rs. 3,000, Rs. 2,000, Rs. 1,500, and Rs. 800 (balcony) available at the Lionel Wendt
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By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Photos by Pradeep Dambarage