Jehan Aloysius’ STORMY WEATHER

Playwright & Director: Jehan Aloysius

Group: CentreStage Productions, Sri Lanka

Language:  English

Duration: 1hr 10 mins

The Play

Stormy Weather is a murder mystery that keeps the audience guessing till the end. One morning, Noel, a man with many enemies, is discovered murdered in his bed with fifteen stab wounds. The prime suspects are summoned to the house by an unconventional inspector who interrogates each of them. Noel’s wife, sister and lover seem to have strong motives. The arrival of a storm complicates the investigation further, till the murderer is finally revealed.

Director’s Note

Stormy Weather is presented as a black & white murder thriller, in the film noir or ‘Dark

Cinema’ style of movie-making of the 1940’s and 50’s. The show also consciously uses melodramatic elements from ‘whodunit’ and horror genres. The show aims to take elements of the film noir genre and transplant those elements into the three dimensional space of live theatre. The characters may seem to reveal a desire to escape the characters they are forced to play while trapped within the silver screen. There are several layers to the performance that attempt to allow the characters to transcend their cinematic stereotypes. I wrote Stormy Weather in 1995, inspired by a nightmare. My script was first produced in 1999 by the University of Colombo and also included in my collection of plays which was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize for literature for the year 2000. I approached the script as a director rather than playwright, when I decided to include the movie element and add clichés from horror and thriller genres in the new production.

The Director /Playwright

Jehan Aloysius is a full-time theatre practitioner as well as a visiting lecturer at the University of

Visual and Performing Arts. Over the last two decades, he has been associated with The Royal Court Theatre of London, ART of Bangalore, Theatrum Botanicum of Edinburgh, Brave Theatre Festival of Poland, Rikskonsertene of Norway, The British Council, as well as the National School of Drama (by participating in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Drama Festivals and also the 8th Theatre Olympics 2018). Jehan played lead roles at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the multi-award winning productions of Children of the Sea and Finding Marina. He has produced theatre and workshops in Norway, Poland, Scotland, Qatar and India. In 2001, Jehan founded CentreStage Productions, an amateur theatre troupe which produces original theatre in Sri Lanka. As a playwright, Jehan has been shortlisted for The Gratiaen Prize for literature, for The Screaming Mind (2000) and The Ritual (2008), and was on the panel of judges of the 2014 Gratiaen Prize. Jehan’s humanitarian efforts, though his Stage Hands Project, include work with children affected by poverty, natural disaster and war, as well as physical theatre productions with those living with mental and physical challenges.

The Group

CentreStage Productions is an amateur theatre troupe founded in 2001 by Jehan Aloysius, in order to produce and promote original theatre in Sri Lanka. Its productions are regularly studied in local universities, and several scripts have been nominated for Sri Lanka’s highest literary award, The Gratiaen Prize. Its ground-breaking ‘mix-able’ productions of An Inspired Swan Lake and Nutcracker (which have been featured on CNN and the BBC), combined soldiers who had lost limbs in the recently concluded ethnic war, with hearing impaired and mentally challenged performers who were all trained and choreographed by Jehan Aloysius.

Cast & Credits

The Inspector: Jehan Aloysius

Noel Richards: Joshua Joseph

Therese: Michelle Herft

Avanti: Tanisha Wijesinghe

Charmaine: Trudy Herft

Rachel: Melmari Cruse

Lighting:  Thushan Dias

Sound: Stephan Wijesinghe

AV Screen: Dion Nanayakkara

Backstage:  Aadil Osman

Music Composed & Performed: Jehan Aloysius

Video Designed & Directed: Jehan Aloysius

Playwright & Director: Jehan Aloysius

William Shakespeare’s CROWNLESS PRINCE Director: Bhaskar Boruah

Playwright: William Shakespeare

Director: Bhaskar Boruah

Group: Replica, Jorhat

Language: Assamese

Duration: 1 hr 28 mins

The Play

Crownless Prince is the story of prince Hamlet whose father is murdered by his uncle, Claudius who, soon after the funeral marries his sister-in-law. Hamlet is unable to accept the sudden death of his father and the hurried re-marriage of his mother. The ghost of King Hamlet commands his son to avenge his death by killing his uncle. Hamlet affects madness and with the help of a troupe of players stages a play, the plot of which is told by the ghost. The performance finally leads to the death of the whole family.

Director’s Note

It is a common saying that as soon as one gets attached to Hamlet, he/she can’t evade it, as his way of seeing life changes after that. Same was the case with me. I got associated with Hamlet during one of my classes while I was studying at N.S.D. I played the role of Hamlet then and I don’t think his psychology ever left me. For me, there is no place for Hamlet and his emotions in the beautiful facade of the world that surrounds him. The revenge that prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle by his father’s spirit dispirited Hamlet. Hamlet’s situation can be traced to the untimely death of our political figures as well. When I started the work, it was meant to be a solo piece. But as I went along I realised that Hamlet cannot exist without the crisis of the world that he lives in, as each character brings out a different face of the crown prince. His ‘madness’ is as much due to external factors as it is due to his internal conflicts. These are the views regarding Hamlet which I have tried to present in front of you in this stylized piece.

The Director

Bhaskar Boruah is an upcoming playwright, director, and theatre trainer. He graduated from National School of Drama, New Delhi in 2015, with Specialization in Acting. He has directed many stage plays like Junakirkothare, Dhemalirkothare, Xastirxondhanat, Karnaittyadi, Monai, Tetontamuli, Bharmi, Ravan, Hamlet, Rjardeul, Kekoni, Oi…Who am I? etc. He established his group Joonak (a group of little stars) in 2008. He has worked with acclaimed theatre directors from India and abroad. As an actor, he has acted in 45 stage plays and participated in 18 National/International theatre festivals including Shakespeare’s International Theatre Festival held in China and Serbia, and Colombo International Theatre Festival in Sri Lanka.  

The Playwright

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright who is considered one of the greatest writers to ever use the English language. He is also the most famous playwright in the world, with his plays being translated in over 50 languages and performed across the globe for audiences of all ages.

The Group

Replica was established in 1997 and has taken part in various all India cultural activities. It has received appreciation for its street plays, musical plays, stage dramas, mono-acts, etc. It also organizes The North-East India Drama Festival, a 45 days Residential Drama Workshop and stages the workshop production for 30 days at a stretch.

Cast & Credits

Hamlet: Bhaskar Boruah

Ghost: Bhaskar Tamuly

Claudius: Nitu Gogoi

Gertrude: Neelakhi Gohain

Ophelia: Dorothy Bhardwaj

Polonius: Kaushik Hazarika

Horatio: Bijit Borgohain

Laertes: Himanshu Gogoi

Marcellus: Ajay Mech

Grave Digger : Debajit Bhuyan

Bernardo: Bijit Kumar Das

Players: Mitali Saikia, Nitu Gogoi, Ajay Mech, Bijit Kumar Das, Rosey Mudoi, Kaushik Hazarika

Light Design: Bharat Chutia

Set Design: Bhaskar Boruah

Assistant Set Designer: Shivam Saikia, Ajay Mech, Nitu Gogoi

Music Direction: Bhaskar Boruah, Raktutpol Bharadwaj

Costume Design: Bhaskar Boruah

Assistant Costume Designer: Apsara Khan, Mitali Saikia

Properties: All Team Members

Set Design: Bhaskar Boruah

Subtitles Projection: Sanjib Pathok

Assistant Set Designer: Bharat Chutia, Ajay Mech, Nitu Gogoi

Make-up: All Actors

Stage Setup, Co-Make-up & Wardrobe Stylist: Rupjyoti Mahanta, Satyam Kushwaha, Modhusmita Goswami

Movement Choreography: Bijit Kumar Das

Stage Manager: Nipen Bora

Team Leader & Secretary: Rupjyoti Mahanta

Playwright: William Shakespeare

Assamese Adaptation, Design & Direction: Bhaskar Boruah