a fairy tale for grown-ups

Directed by Ruwanthie de Chickera

Synopsis         Production      Reviews        Reflections       Devising       Rehearsals       Cast         Downloads


Kalumaali, a fairy tale for grown-ups looks at the challenges of modern-day parenting against the backdrop of our age-old yearning for magic and destiny.

It is structured around 5 fairy tales told to a young child by the adults in her life.

September 2012
Lionel Wendt,
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Running time – 1 ½ hours (with a 10-minute interval)
Language - English and Sinhala (separate performances)

The opening show was supported by the Sunethra Bandaranaike Trust,  Rithihi and Halien Production House  With  John Keells Group, Dialog, Dove, Anagi, Pond’s.



Kalumaali was the first fully devised production of Stages Theatre Group.  It was derived from the writings of 13 artist mothers of the Passing Stage project. It introduced audiences to ‘Kalumaali’, a magical character used to explore complexities within modern day parenting.

Kalumaali, written and performed simultaneously in English and Sinhala, included veteran actors like Peter D’Almeida and Kaushalya Fernando.  It ran to full houses and was well received by audiences.

The script was shortlisted for the 2013 Gratiaen Prize in Sri Lanka.


“The language of the play and the voice of the characters are distinctly Sri Lankan, but this sensitive and insightful play about living, loving, resisting and growing up transcends its context and reaches out, particularly to anyone who has ever felt both exhilarated and trapped by motherhood and generally to everyone who has felt constrained by social norms.”

Vivimarie VanderPoorten, Lecturer, University of Colombo

More Reviews


Looking Back

Artists involved in creating this play reflect on the creative process; explaining how the idea came about, how it grew, changed and what finally made it to the production.

Read the Resource Pack and watch the Stages Looking Back Video to gain insight into the process behind creating this play.



 Ruwanthie de Chickera and Nadie Kammallaweera scripted Kalumaali in response to the 300-page Passing Stage manuscript created by 13 artist mothers who wrote anonymously on motherhood for 1 ½ years.
Ruwanthie and Nadie, who themselves belonged to this group of women, worked with the Kalumaali cast and crew in an intensely collaborative and experimental devising process where actors, writers, designers, composers all worked together in an organic creative process through which the play emerged.


Rehearsals for Kalumaali were entirely intertwined with the devising process. The writers and designers of the play continued to work dynamically with the actors, creating and refining scenes and the overall production throughout the creative process, right up to opening night.
Rehearsals for Kalumaali were a unique experience for the actors, because there was a common cast performing the same play in two languages, with actors sometimes swapping roles according to their strengths.  This created an interesting dynamic in the performance.

Meet The Cast

Lakmini Seneviratne


Nadie Kammallaweera


Peter D’Almeida


Kaushalya Fernando




Looking Back 



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