Marsh Dodanwela’s stunning performance


Staggered out of Punchi Theatre last night in a happy happy daze.  Colombo critic is spot on about the quality of Marsh’s acting. And Marsh is able to pull off a continuous physically demanding yet subtle performance. And he seems to be able to do it over and over again (I went the day after Colombo critic’s review got posted). The Sunday times also has similar positive things to say.

The play had a definite Afro-American of the Southern US flavour which Marsh carried through with a convincing, consistent accent and body language. The bit of blues like singing in the “devil’s wedding” segment was particularly amazing.

I’m not qualified to judge acting in an academic sense, but Marsh has an ability to deliver a powerful human experience. The sort of thing people who pay to see a play secretly hope for. If Marsh can deliver such an experience (as he has already done) irrespective of the where he is on the planet, then he’s clearly a world class actor. Right now he is doing his stuff in Sri Lanka and we are very very lucky to have him.

Yeah I know this too sounds fawning, but what the hell, such quality acting needs to be applauded and recognised for what it is. May it in some way inspire and up the ante of the quality of theatre in Sri Lanka. (ok ok so its a little shrill and hopeful but why the hell not?)

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4 thoughts on “Marsh Dodanwela’s stunning performance

  1. Marsh was absolutely brilliant… Totally eclipsed all the other plays in my opinion. I loved the way he transforms from one character to another with the utmost ease. Just wish I could’ve gone on the second day as well. Hes come a long way since I saw him in Venice. Hats off to him.

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  2. since venice? his performance in the devil and billy markham was in another league in comparison to anything about venice, which was almost intolerable. perhaps good direction has a lot to do with a good performance? ifaz is clearly miles ahead of feroze in talent and skill. marsh is simply one of sri lanka’s finest actor’s, so agile, so versatile, he’s proved that beyond a doubt with the devil and billy markham.

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  3. Dammit, was it that good? I’ve been posted overseas for the last two months but the wife saw it and won’t stop talking about it. Bored out of my mind here.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen him on stage but I’ve heard good things about him. Does he act often?

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  4. JL: The performance was pretty good. I’m out of the loop when it come to the theatre scene in Colombo. But from what I’ve read (the Sunday times article link and Colombo critic’s post) he seems consistently good. And it seems he’s not new having acted in a few plays before. But this is the first time I’ve seen him perform (or even heard of him).

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