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12th September 1999
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Our cover girl this week is Chulpathmendra, 
whose outfit is by 'Inspirations'. 
Chulpathmendra's hair and make-up were 
by Purnima Abeyratne and she was photographed 

for the Mirror Magazineby Anuruddha 
Medawattegedera at Greenview Restaurant, Kotte.
Humour yourself at the Wendt 
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Humour yourself at the Wendt

By Ayesha R. Rafiq
A quack doctor, an emperor with no clothes and a bunch of happy and enthusiastic youngsters make up the plot and cast of two plays produced by Musaeus College that come up on the boards on September 18 and 19 at the Lionel Wendt.

'A Doctor in Spite of Himself' and 'Only a Change of Clothing' are two enjoyable plays that seem set to provide two hours of clean humour sure to keep both the old and young alike laughing. 

'A Doctor in Spite of Himself', an adaptation of Moliere's 'Le Medicin Malgre Lui' is a light social satire with critical commentaries on the age-old vices of materialism, pretence, hypocrisy, the medical profession and separately, the marital institution, to name just a few. But while amply casting subtle jabs at these issues, the play manages to maintain a light humour that doesn't leave you groping in the dark for hidden meanings.

The protagonist, Sganarelle (Bimsara Premaratne), is a good for nothing woodcutter, whose main joys in life seem to be the bottle, beating his wife, and quoting Latin phrases for the benefit of no one in particular.

His long-suffering but equally loud-mouthed wife Martine (Sayami Namalwewa) particularly enraged after a beating decides to take revenge on her husband by unknown to him, setting him up to be a doctor, 'in spite of himself'.

Sganarelle's false pride leads him to keep up the pretence by misquoting Plato, Socrates and Hippocrates, casting another attack on pedantic people. 'But the hardest part of the play wasn't learning Latin or portraying mature characters. It was the clarity and audibility that we really had to work on,' says the cast. 'But with all that the teamwork we're all having loads of fun.'

The comedy that ensues when Sganarelle is commissioned to cure an aristocrat Gerant's (Prenita de Silva) daughter Lucinde of her sudden dumbness, and then finds himself a somewhat unwilling aide to Lucinde's and Leondre's romance has been cleverly executed so as to ensure that either clever wit or ludicrous action alternately holds the audience's attention. 

The cast is a senior one and the leading roles are played by vivacious actresses who manage to bring the characters alive and let you relate to them with ease, quack doctors, marital discord, an easily recognised Sri Lankan humour and laissez faire attitude to life et all. 

'Only a Change of Clothing' is a contemporary and freely interpreted version of the Hans Christian Anderson's children's classic, 'The Emperor's New Clothes'.

The majority of the cast here are youngsters and with all the giggles and laughs that ensue from the play it's not hard to see why they're having so much fun. 

In this modern version of the classic the cast uses song dance and mime to maintain an upbeat motion throughout the play. Cockerel narrators keep you informed of the new twists to the play. 

Once the Emperor (Sayami Namalwewa) has announced that he wants new clothes designed, the ludicrous designs that each hopeful brings and the selections panels response to them is a scene you're definitely not going to want to miss. 

A clown cum beggar commentator from the sidelines lending his witticisms to the play serves to add a serio-comic touch to the drama.

While the cast is a junior one, here again the comedy and insinuations have been handled equally well keeping an even balance between the two.

A brother and sister duo Lilamani and Gamini Hatthotuwagama direct the plays, while the music is directed by Prajika de Silva.

The cast has been practising since June to make the play a success, and the hard work seems to have paid off.

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