Thrithva Ranga 2011 – a unique night of class and entertainment

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Dec - 11 - 2011
T. Weerasooriya

Ever since I first went for the school show of Thrithva Ranga, way back when I was in Grade 8 (2004), it has become an annual event in my calendar along with the Bradby Shield. In the Thrithva Ranga held way back in 2004, I can remember there was something to do with army soldiers climbing down from the top of the hall to kidnap the president. Even though I wasn’t allowed to go for the public show until I was in grade 11, I haven’t missed a single show ever since. For the eighth consecutive year, I went to see this year’s show just last Tuesday, even though it was quite strange because usually the Thrithva Ranga falls on Fridays. But regardless the day, the show was such that it was entertainment from the first minute till the very last. It reminded me of the reasons why I fell in love with TR, ever since I first witnessed the show. In my opinion it belongs to one of the best shows I have watched along with the first ever Thrithva Ranga I had the privilege of watching in 2004.

Usually whenever someone asks ‘what is Thrithva Ranga’?, a person might say it’s a musical show but what about the dances and drama? Another might say it’s a drama then what about the dances, skits, etc? So Thrithva Ranga is more like dance, drama, music and more importantly, the spirit of Trinitians combined. So the only way to describe what Thrithva Ranga is all about is let a person witness it for themselves. TR is one of the most anticipated events in the hill country, and is a show like no other in the entire country. Glimpsing into the history of Thrithva Ranga, it was initially organized as a compilation of dramas and titled “Ranga Sabawa”. However, after 1994 it was exclusively organized and performed by the School Officers’ Guild (SOG); the foremost student body having a history of over 100 years and entrusted with implementing authority in the college.
Today, three decades later, it has evolved into something even the fellow Trinitians who organized “Ranga Sabawa” way back in the day wouldn’t have ever dreamt of. The show held few days ago can be used to further justify the statement.

TR this year was held on the 6th of December, the main theme of the show was the traditional Kandyan Culture. The two main characters of this year’s show was Robin (played by Akila Jayasundara) and Punchi (played by Rukshan Vithana), who were typical robbers but more comedic than the average robbers. Robin was more like the leader with the plan (lokka) and Punchi was his crazy assistant (sokka).


TR 2011 Intro Video


In the TR 2011 Intro, Robin’s first impression of TR was that it was some kind of a big ceremony, even though the two school boys couldn’t follow what the duo were trying to say (half in Sinhala half in English), all they could get from the entire conversation was that these two “jokers” are coming to see TR. At first I thought this brief clip was just the introduction and it is not related to the drama, but I was wrong. The intro was something new during the previous shows of TR the introduction was mainly animations but using this kind of an idea is unique and fresh. After the brief video, the two main announcers (Heshan Unambuwa and Sean Foster) took the stage to welcome the crowd to TR.

 

Sean Foster & Heshan Unamboowe

 

After which the drama began showing short video clip showing the two jokers (Robin and Punchi) robbing a house. Robin grabbing all the expensive items while Punchi grabs everything he touches. After the robbery in Colombo, the duo decides to visit their home village. They decide to organize a drama (Magadi Natakaya) in the village. When they first arrive to this village they meet up with a farmer (more like a farmer and a cowboy combined) driving a tractor with a cow boy hat and a pair of sunglasses wearing a sarong (played by Sean Foster). When the duo asks if he can give a ride so they can meet up with the head of the village his answer is “No”, after the duo begging him to give a ride he finally gives up.

Arachchi Intro Video


Arachchi – Played by Lasitha Weerakoon

The Arachchi (village headman, played by Lasitha Weerakoon) is introduced to the crowd, showing a classical lake incident. During a routine stroll around the village alone he sneaks up behind the bushes to watch a couple of villagers (female) bathing in the lake. But surprisingly when his wife (played by Kulshlan Ekanayake) and his assistant (played by Prathab Costa) strolls around the village, the assistant sees Arachchi in the act and he shows it to Manike. Manike confronts Arachi in the act. After this brief incident the live acting part of the drama begins with Arachchi sitting in his house while the duo decides to barge in trying to talk him into organizing the drama they have been planning about. But the drama isn’t a real drama it’s just a crazy scheme plotted to rob some stuff from the villagers. This scheme seemed to have a remarkable remblance to the ‘Magadi Natakaya’ chapter in Martin Wickremasinghe’s famous novel ‘Madol Doova’.

After getting the approval, the duo walks around searching for actors needed for the drama, and they perfectly plan a way to get out the village as well without letting the Arachchi know that this drama (Magadi Natakaya) is something made up. Their plan to escape is to arrange three people all dressed in Army uniforms to come and arrest them. Even though Arachchi protests, the army officers refuses to let them stay and says that he should talk with the police. The angry Arachchi decides to pay a visit to the police station since he has helped out the duo to organize the drama and now they are in jail. But for his surprise the police don’t even know about such arrest being made. The fake arrest of the duo turns out to be a perfect gateway plan plotted by Robin. But afterwards, Arachchi finds about the truth and he makes a complaint to the police station. Afterwards, the duo is caught while they are sleeping in an apartment and they are imprisoned at the Bogrambara prison. But it doesn’t stop Robin plotting another plan to break out of the prison after 19 years (as shown in the video below);

 

Prison Break Video


As shown in the video after the duo’s successful prison break, they are brought in by a secret agent (played by Heshan Unamboowe) and his assistant to retrieve a disk from two places, Trinity College and the Pentagon. The duo who was having a hard time trying to understand what Heshan (who wanted to rule the world) is trying to say in English, makes up a plan to answer the questions with 5 yes’s and 5 no’s.

Heshan:This is a very important job.

Robin:Yes

Punchi:No

Both looks at each other and says: Yes!!

Heshan:Do you know that this is a matter of life and dead?

Both:No!!!

Heshan:Are you stupid?

Both:Yes!!

According to sources some questions asked were on the script, while some were just said made up on the spot. However they managed to take up on the mission but the duo decides to retrieve the disk from Trinity College first. They try to enter the school from the main gate and they are kicked out, tries the pool but is kicked out again. Tries the junior school entrance, and then even though they got in after doing a cheerful posture screaming hurray they are confronted by two junior monitors who kick them out saying “No jokers allowed”. Tries again at the Chapel gate as you may have guessed it, but they were kicked out again by Channa Nanayakkara. Finally in the drama, the duo was able to sneak into the school but they get some kind of a brain shock and falls down unconscious just in front of the cop room.

R. Vithana(Punchi),A. Jayasundara(Robin),L. Weerakoon(Arachi),K. Ekanayake(Hamine), A. Jayasinghe(Actress) & P. Costa(Assistant)

The drama which was the more like backbone of TR was simple and enjoyable which made it remarkable. The amount of video clips used was just perfect, and most of the scenes were acted out live in front of the audience. The videos were directed by Thimira Galappaththige & Prathab Costa. The fact that it was mixed with both Sinhala and English increased its humorous effect. The script has been written by Thimira Galappaththi.

A. Perera,N. Samarawickrema, M. Gallage, C. Gunarathne & S. Unambuwa

That sums up on the drama part of TR now getting on to the musical part of the show, it consisted of live performances by Ayesh Perera and the S1 Crew to name a few. Ayesh performed a song by Bryan Adams called “Heaven”, as pictured above.

Shaam Niyas performed two songs (Oya Dathin Alla & You and I) along with Kushlan Ekanayaka, Chanaka Gunarathne, Namith Swarnasinghe & Rajitha Katugaha as pictured below.

V. Atipola,N. Swarnasinghe,S. Niyaas, M. Gallage & C. Gunaratne

The upcoming music group ‘S1 Crew‘ (Prathap Costa, Savinda Unambuwa, Namith Swarnasinghe & Chanaka Gunarathne) performed an original song called Hotel Yusifiah. What the S1 Crew did was they combined the live performance and a music video together. At the beginning of their performance, a couple (Akila Jayasundara & Thimira Galappaththi) is up on stage acting a scene where the girlfriend asking the boyfriend to take her to a nice restaurant so they can have a nice meal. Akila takes her to Hotel Yusifiah, her initial impression was “yuck! what is this place?” after the waiter brings in the food. She immediately leaves Akila saying she can’t eat this food because it’s “yuck”, and the song begins. The entire performance was simply great. I am already listening to the song at the moment while I am writing this, the song has a catchy melody and unique lyrics.

As usual at the end of the show, an instrumental was performed;
Lasitha Weerakoon & Madusha Gallage – Violin, Chanaka Gunarathne – Drums, Savinda Unambuwa – Lead Guitar, Namitha Swarnasinghe – Bass, Navintach Samarawickrema – Rhythm Guitar, Rajitha Katugaha- Organ & Sanjaya Somasiri – Flute.

J. Adhuran, S. Dhanushkanda, B. Charles & V. Prasannaand Performing the Tamil Dance

Now getting into the dances, the Tamil dance was performed by J. Adhuran, S. Dhanushkanda, B. Charles & V. Prasannaand. The English dance was performed by P. Costa, T. Dharmasena, W.S.S. Somasiri, S. Niyas & J. Fernando. A photo of the Tamil dance is attached above. Surprisingly this year the skit was merged into the drama itself which was a risk well taken.

As usual the senior prefect is brought in to deliver the vote of thanks. This year it’s Murad Ramzeen’s time. Murad was the captain and the skipper of the XV team this year. He was recently awarded the Rugby Lion award. During the show, short clips were shown of Murad returning home from the Malaysian tour to give out the vote of thanks. After the speech, the guild took the stage to sing out the college song and to watch a short clip of how their lives were spent during the last few years at Trinity as School Officers.

As the Senior Prefect of 2010 pointed out, this year’s TR managed to raise the bar. They managed to think outside-the-box and deviate from the usual TR routines but those risks turned out to be healthy risks. Well done brothers, for putting out such a great show.

 

Article Written By Tharindu Weerasooriya. Edited By Yashwanth Dahanayake.

Special thanks go out to Lasitha Weerakoon, for the help he provided to compile this article.

 

*Videos courtesy of 2011 School Officers’ Guild. Acquired and uploaded with compliance of the content owners.

The photo gallery for Thrithva Ranga can be found at trinitylk.com/gallery

The high quality videos from TR 2011 will be uploaded soon to youtube.com/trinitylk. Subscribe to the channel to view them as they are made public.

 

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