Dame Julie Andrews to direct production of My Fair Lady

Dame Julie Andrews – the original star of My Fair Lady – will direct a 60th anniversary production of the musical at the Sydney Opera House next year.
The British actress played the lead role of Eliza Doolittle in a 1956 Broadway production.
The show helped to launch her acclaimed theatre, movie and television career.
Dame Julie said she was “thrilled to have been asked” and will be visiting Australia in November to cast the production.
“I look forward to… beginning the process of bringing this great musical to life once again,” she said.
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady tells the story of Cockney flower girl Doolittle who is transformed into an upper-class lady by linguistics professor Henry Higgins.
The stage production features music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and includes classic numbers such as Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? and I Could Have Danced All Night.
Audrey Hepburn starred in the 1964 film adaptation alongside Rex Harrison.
The movie won eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
The new theatre production will premiere in August 2016 as part of Opera Australia’s 60th birthday celebrations.
Dame Julie will be working alongside Tony-award winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli (The King and I, South Pacific), Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terrancini, and producer John Frost.
“To think that Broadway’s original Eliza Doolittle, Julie Andrews, will direct our new production at the Sydney Opera House 60 years later will, I’m sure, excite both Australian and international audiences,” Frost said.

Dandy Kandy SC win rugby 7’s – 2015

Kandy Sports Club long renowned for their skills in the abbreviated form of the game were crowned “Rugby Sevens champions” for 2015/16 tearing through defending champions Havelock Sports Club with a powerful display in a pulsating final in grand style.

It was a superb effort by the hill country team who showed an outstanding quality of play, determination, wonderful defense and inventive attacking to subdue what had been a lively Havelock Sports Club team.

The event was organized by the sport’s governing body SLRFU, and the winners of the tournament are awarded the Rugby 7’s trophy for 2015. Earlier it was played for late Lt. Gen Denzil Kobbekkduwa trophy. Now that trophy is sadly no more.

Kandy Sports Club were considered the most popular winners, acclaimed by a knowledgeable crowd who appreciate their magnificent seven, and worthy champions after growing up as a good team, getting better and better through the rounds.

Their brand of rugby succeeded only because they had the right blend of players and coached by the best find in rugby 7’s in the past in Saliya Kumar, who showed them the way to a 17-10 victory over defending champions Havelock Sports Club in the tournament final at Race Course Rugby grounds last Sunday.

The fancied Kandy Sports Club side, capped two superb days of rugby that included victories over Police SC “B” 50-0, Navy SC “A” 28-0, and in the quarter- finals beat Army S.C. “B” 70-0, beat CR and FC in the semi-final 19-7 with a superb battling display.

What anyone agreed was that the good teams find a way to win although at the outset it looked unlikely. In the end Kandy Sports Club supporters were grateful for a superb display by their players.

Kandy Sports Club captain Fazil Marija said: “This was amazing rugby. It’s going to take a while to sink in. I can’t describe it. The boys have come a long way with dedication, enthusiasm, keenness and willingness to perform at any level. In a situation like this everything clicked in the right manner resulting in being winners in all the games played.

‘We continued that form through the tournament. It is said that when the going gets tough,the tough gets going. This is exactly what it was against CR and FC. We faced this is a semi-final with determination and that was the motivation to win. We did likewise in the final”, said an elated Marija.

Coach Saliya Kumara added: “This achievement is quite unbelievable as the trend grew with all players focused towards carrying away the plum of the Rugby 7’s. We knew it when we beat the Solders in the quarters, that anything was possible. Our boys have been phenomenal and played some cracking Sevens so the success is thoroughly deserved’, were the words of an overjoyed coach.

‘I can’t really put them into words said rugby chairman of the Kandy Sports Club Lasantha Wijayausriya “We were just focusing on the Havies game as they were the defending champs. The boys were very emotional in the changing room, and I had to control them and remind them to start smiling and that this game is supposed to be fun. We’ve won all our games, so we are on a pretty hot streak and we have got a great team around us. We play as a team under coach Saliya Kuamra who was a rugby 7’s specialist during his playing era and he has done his best in moulding the team into a champion outfit’, were the sentiments expressed by a cheerful Wijayasuriya.

The man for all seasons Malik Samarawickrema long-serving man in the history of Kandy rugby and who has don wonders for the game and player said: “This triumph is a massive statement. We have really put ‘Sevens’ on the map and everybody is so proud of us. This was one of the best performance in a ‘sevens’ at any level. I’d like to thank the team and all the people who have been really supporting the team including the rugby committee and the rest’, said Samarawickrema savouring this stunning victory.

The happiest moment would have been for the newly elected president Udaya Balasuriya and his able committee, who have posses some dynamic personalities, who know how to promoter rugby in the right way, although most of them have not played good rugby. In this sevens Kandy Sports Club proved once again proved that they are the glamour boys.

The final winning team’s first try came from Nigel Ratwatte,which was goalled by Fazil Marija 7-0. A few minutes later saw the Park Club’s Sandun Hearth and Shenal Dias scoring two unconverted tries to lead 10-7 at the breather.

Then in the second half the tries, one from Richard Darmapala and another from Nigel Ratwatte were enough for Kandy Sports Club to beat last year’s champions Havelock sports Club 17-10

The Champion KSC team comprised players of the calibre of – Gayan Weerartne, Roshan Weeraratne two borthers props, Nigel Ratwatte Hooker, Richard Darmapala scrum half, Fazil Marijah as fly half, Lavanaga Perera Center. Anurudha Wilwera Winger / fullback. (Saliya Kumara coach), (Kapila Silva Manager), A.Jamaldeen Convenor)

At the end of play, former CR and FC, Sri Lanka ruggerite and SLRFU boss Asanga Senavirthne handed over the champions trophy to Kandy SC skipper Fazil Marija to thunderous cheers. Associated with Senaviratne was another top class ruggerite Havelock Sports Club, Sri Lanka Center Michael Jayasekara and Kandy SC President Udaya Balasuriya.

The player of the tournament was awarded was pocketed by the champion team’s Richard Dharmapala, a well deserved award from his excellent performance.

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up by 31 percent

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals reached a record highest rising 31.2 percent in July this year compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 175,804 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 133,971 arrived in July 2014.

In the first seven months of this year 1,005,855 tourists visited the island, an increase of 16.8 percent compared to the 861,324 recorded for the same period in 2014.

Arrivals from North America increased 12.8 percent to 8,158 in July. Arrivals from US were up 19.1 percent to 4,161 while arrivals from Canada increased 6.8 percent to 3,997 during the month. For the year arrivals from North America increased 15.2 percent.

Tourist arrivals from Western Europe increased 18.3 percent in July with the arrival of 64,905 tourists, compared to the 54,857 tourists arrived in the same month last year. Most of the tourist arrivals from Western Europe were from the UK recording 23.7 percent increase in the month.

Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 16.7 percent with the arrival of 7,378 tourists in July 2015 compared to the 6,323 arrived in July 2014. However, tourist arrivals from Eastern Europe declined this year by 9.5 percent due to the economic recession in Russia and the crisis in Ukraine.

Arrivals from Middle East declined significantly by 167.6 percent with 16,053 visitors arriving in July 2015 compared to the 5,998 arrived a year ago.

Tourist arrivals from East Asia increased 37.8 percent as 35,572 visited the country compared to the 25,810 visited in July 2014. Arrivals from China compared to last year increased 65.5 percent with the arrival of 25,120 visitors while arrivals from Japan declined 12.7 percent.

Arrivals from South Asia increased by 36.3 percent as 36,360 tourists visited the island in July 2015. Of those arrived from South Asia, 24,681 were from India corresponding to an increase of 28.0 percent.

Happy Birthday Geri Halliwell!

Pop singer who was known as Ginger Spice while performing with the Spice Girls, known for hits like “Wannabe.”

She was a glamour model as well as a night club dancer before her career in music went mainstream.

She launched her solo career in 1998 with her debut album Schizophonic, featuring “Bag It Up” and “Look at Me.”

She is the youngest of her siblings, with a half-brother named Paul, a half-sister named Karen, a brother named Max, and a sister named Natalie. In 2014, she got engaged to race car driver Christian Horner.

She was part of the Spice Girls alongside Victoria Beckham, Melanie Janine Brown, Emma Lee Bunton and Melanie Jayne Chisholm.

Downey Jr tops Forbes actor salary list for third time

Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr has topped Forbes’ list of highest-paid actors for the third year running
He earned $80m (£51m) thanks to blockbusters like Avengers: Age of Ultron, according to the list.
For the first time, the list also includes actors who work outside the US movie industry, meaning the top 10 includes three Bollywood stars.
Daniel Craig was the only British actor to feature, at number 15 jointly with Australian actor Chris Hemsworth.
They each earned $27m (£17m) according to Forbes.
In compiling the list, the number crunchers measure earnings before subtracting management fees and taxes over the past year.
Forbes described it as “the first truly global earnings tally of leading men”, adding that the 34 stars on the full list “earned a combined $941m (£603m) before taxes and fees between June 2014 and June 2015”.
Jackie Chan came in at number two with $50m (£32m), thanks to being the biggest star movie star in China.
Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid actors 2015:
1. Robert Downey Jr – $80m
2. Jackie Chan – $50m
3. Vin Diesel – $47m
4. Bradley Cooper – $41.5m
5. Adam Sandler – $41m
6. Tom Cruise – $40m
7. Amitabh Bachchan – $33.5m
8. Salman Khan – $33.5m
9. Akshay Kumar – $32.5m
10. Mark Wahlberg – $32m