I love to watch stage dramas. I had the pleasure of watching Maname, Sinhabahu, Uthure Rahula Himi and Guru Tharuwa in my 20’s and enjoyed them a lot. I had the same fresh feelings when I went to see the dramas Makarakshaya, Booruwa Mahaththaya and Debiddo recently but became very disappointed.
My first complain is that the actors’ voices are not loud enough like during the good old days. Earlier we got the tickets for the last few rows and now that we need more comforts, went for the second class. Still the actors’ voices were not heard clearly to us. It was disheartening to see this happening to veterans like Jayalath Manorathna who lulled the audience a decade ago. I’m not sure if this happens due to the ageing or total collapse of the standards of the dramas today. I wanted to ensure whether it was me going old and not hearing the actors well due to my age and asked few of the young people around whether they could hear the voices and they answered in the negative.
The next main area to be improved is the supporting cast. In the past, even the supporting cast was more or less equal to the main cast in talents. But today, the support cast is awfully weak and only very rarely I see someone who stands out. Maybe the youth are attracted to tele-dramas more than the stage due to what it offers today.
With the modern technology, the stage should be an attractive place but this is not seen in many a case. They still use the old methods and the situation has even deteriorated. The same has to be said about the lightings. Maybe the money circulated in the stage is too small to expect significant improvements.
In the olden days, at the end of the drama, when all the actors came to the stage to say goodbye, we felt like we were part of them. The feelings of the audience and the cast became one as a result of the refreshing experience both parties had. This I didn’t feel of late. I’m not sure if something is wrong with me!