Lionel Wendt Theater
Colombo 7

The Lionel Wendt Theater and Gallery is the primary destination for Colombo’s art lovers and is the main attraction in artistic district among the variety of coffeehouses and restaurants. This center for the arts came about thanks to the vision of barrister Lionel Wendt and his brother Harry, as well as their friend Harold Peiris. Among Lionel’s greatest achievements was the narration of one of the earliest films set in the then colony of Ceylon.

He also had a one-man photographic exhibition in London in 1938. Both the artistic brothers died young in the forties, and so neither could actually see their dream come to fruition. Instead, it was Peiris who finally saw their vision completed. The very first drama to be staged here was Maxim Gorky’s “Lower Depths”, in 1953. From then on, the gallery and theater complex became among the best in the country. The Lionel Wendt Auditorium is unique for having among the best acoustics of any in the island, and is coveted by many theater companies and schools that regularly stage dramas.

Written by Vasika Udurawane for

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