It’s time to get Scrub’d up! Order now. 

by Dr. Rashmira Balasuriya 


Living in Sri Lanka, a good musical or play that is performed on the scale as that in London’s west end or New York’s Broadway, is very hard to come by. I am no theatre expert, but I definitely do enjoy a good theatre experience. Whilst a student in the UK, I would wait for my mother to come visit so that I could take her to watch a play on the West End. The theatre is definitely not cheap, but it is an experience that is most definitely worth it so I would definitely recommend saving up for it.

The stella performance of “The Sound of music” in Sri Lanka by the Asia Broadway Group which included our very own Sri Lankan children to play the part of the younger children of the Von Trapp family, has definitely opened up the possibility for more broadway musicals to come our way. Listed below are 5 of my favourite musicals that I’ve seen thus far (click in the link for the UK based website):

Image result for dirty dancing theatre

Dirty Dancing

“Nobody puts baby in a corner”

An ardent fan of the movie and this production does not disappoint at all! They unfortunately do not have a permanent home in London anymore and are touring so I have actually watched this twice – both times just exceptional! The music will definitely get you dancing and take you right there back to Kellerman’s resort where Baby meets Johnny. The dancing is spectacular and the rotating stage certainly adds to the theatrics. Feel free to sing-a-long to the dirty dancing classics such as ‘Do you love me?’ and ‘Time of my life’. Definitely my NUMBER ONE!


Image result for the lion king musicalThe Lion King

‘Hakuna Matata”

Just wow. Literally wow. The production of this musical is insane – the costumes, the props, the orchestra, the actors (especially the kids) – it is just another level of entertainment. You’ll be transported to the plains of the Serengetti in an instant. The circle of life scene is so powerful what with Rafiki’s booming voice and the many various props of animals. Definitely a tear jerker! As with the cartoon, timon and pumba certainly add comedic value to the play. Definitely a good one to go for if you’re new to the theatre scene.


‘Everyone deserves a chance to fly’

There are two sides to every story – the Wizard of OZ tells you one and this tells you another. The story of the Glenda the good witch and Elphaba a green witch is truly a magical one with catchy songs and a good dose of comedy. Again here, I loved the stage production and the way in which the props seamlessly moved transforming the stage from one scene to another. I watched this in Melbourne, Australia whilst I was on medical elective, but this production has a permanent home in London’s west end.

Phantom of the Opera

‘Close your eyes and let the music set you free’

So this stage production is a winner – I mean rows and rows of candles sprouting up out of the floor, boats navigating the candle maze, ‘things’ falling down (so as not to give too much away). The romantic melodies will definitely take you back to the 1980’s. Her Majesty’s theatre itself is a beautiful old theatre, a perfect setting for this famous Andrew Lloyd Weber production. Definitely catch this classic theatre production when possible!


‘and all that jazz’

Get your jazz hands and tap shoes ready for this show because you will be jamming and grooving throughout. My favourite of course is the ‘cell block tango’, but the familliar ‘razzle dazzle’ and ‘all that jazz’ is also going to get your feet tapping. The london version has had many celebrities guest starring including Ashlee Simpson, Michelle Williams, Brooke Shields and Cuba Gooding Jr. It really would be a crime to miss it!

Grease as a musical I really did not enjoy, the stage was very simple and it really did not keep me entertained. Kinky boots was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it, especially the drag queens! They were beautiful! Mamma Mia was also good, but again not as captivating as my top 5 mentioned above. The touring company of Sound of Music did an absolutely wonderful production here in Colombo and it was so good that I don’t feel like I need to go and watch the UK version because it was that professionally done. Our little Sri Lankan kids did so well and you really ended up thinking that they were part of the original cast. The colour difference between the cast members really did not matter because our little Sri Lankans had been exceptionally and vigorously trained – even the little Marthas!

The book of Mormons and Aladdin are two plays that I really do want to see and hopefully I will get a chance to see these two plays in the future. Here’s also hoping that more theatre touring companies will see Sri Lanka as a possible destination on their world tours.

A little tip – there are a number of online websites in the UK that sell theatre tickets for cheap last minute and you could end up watching plays for as little as 20 pounds! Some theatres also offer student discounts so keep an eye out for that!

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Hi there!

Hi there! Dr. Rashmira Balasuriya is a medical doctor in Sri Lanka, currently training in Family Medicine. Navigating the healthcare system in Sri Lanka is no easy task and this website was created to help guide other foreign medical graduates and junior doctors. This website also helps demystify life as a doctor in Sri Lanka and also combats medical misinformation circulating amongst the general public!