Not your typical love story
Gruesome Playground Injuries written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph is to be rendered on Sri Lankan theatres for the first time ever, by Director Lihan Mendis.
The play is certainly not your typical love story; the leads are portrayed as star-crossed lovers who encounter one another, time and time again for 30-years, brought together by injury, heartbreak and their own self-destructive tendencies.
Kayleen and Doug of Rajiv Joseph’s story intersect at the most bizarre intervals, leading to the two childhood friends to compare scars and the physical calamities that keep driving them together.
The script itself has been created with great compassion and humour; crafting a compelling and unconventional love story that is most intimate about two individuals, who learn to drop their defences and learn to be truly vulnerable with each other.
Speaking about why he chose this play in particular, Lihan said: “I found the script online, and found it to be very fascinating”, adding that “the subject matter is very relative to your own personal experience of being in a relationship.”
In curating his cast, the Director said that he spoke to several people, whom he believed would be a good fit for the part, and eventually settled down on two solid casting choices; Shanaka Amarasinghe and Imani Perera.
Having worked together in a production of Arcadia by the Mind Adventures Theatre Co. in 2016, Lihan got together with Shanaka, who will play the male lead in this two-hander play, and the other role is to be played by Imani – both actors who have been in the Sri Lankan theatre scene for over 20-years now.
The crew has been rehearsing for nearly four months now, and Lihan said: “I’ve been meaning to step into a creative venture and this play, of which the title, I must say, is a kind of a misnomer, is a gravely emotional production,” adding that as the title quite misleadingly indicates, there will be nothing injurious in terms of blood and gore.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the play, there is no requirement for you to read up – simply experience what would undoubtedly be a deeply resonating experience of love, love lost, and love reborn.
The play is to be held on 12, 13 and 14 October in the Namel Malani Punchi Theatre, and tickets priced at Rs. 2000, Rs. 1500 and Rs. 1000 will be available at the theatre and Takas.lk.
By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Pics by Indika Handuwela