Traditional Puppet Play
The coastal town of Ambalangoda, renowned for its quirky arts and craft, has an interesting and rich tradition of storytelling. Puppetry, although quite uncommon now, was once an important feature of these fascinating tales. The entire village – from its headman to those from the perceived lower classes of society – would gather around such performances. A small industry previously existed to support the making of puppets, the production of materials used in crafting them, and the design of sets to stage puppet plays. It is largely derelict now. You can now witness this ancient and distinct form of theatre, just a few minutes’ drive from the hotel. Your host is a fourth-generation puppeteer who has helped revive the fading art of puppetry by adding a contemporary twist to make the traditional puppet performances all the more interesting. You’ll start by visiting a puppet art museum and learn about Sri Lanka’s puppetry which traces its roots back to the 12th century. The puppeteer will take you through popular puppet characters as he regales you with tales about his great-grandfather’s puppet shows in old Ceylon. You will then be treated to an entertaining puppet show lined up with three acts, performed to the beat of folk music.