Words: Tina Edward Gunawardhana
Watching the BBC adaptation of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers -a series of stories on boarding school life in 1940’s Britain I was struck by the character of Miss Potts. An integral character in the book, Miss Potts who every reader belived to be Caucasian, was on screen, an Asian. Scrolling through the credits I discovered that Miss Potts was played by Imali Perera who I soon discovered had roots firmly entrenched in Sri Lanka. Born in Sri Lanka, Imali left Sri Lanka when she was four years old. Typical of most Sri Lankan parents, Imali was sent for piano lessons when she was 6 and then singing and speech and drama when she was 12. She studied with the Trinity College of London, Toronto Conservatory, Western Board, and Mt. Royal College in Calgary where she obtained qualifications in Speech and Drama, Piano and Voice. After completing three years of Theatre studies at University of Calgary, Imali was invited by McGill University to study Opera where she graduated with a B.Mus in Voice Performance. In 1998 Imali moved to Toronto to start her career in acting. She joined the Repertory Theatre company and took part in the “The Shaw Festival” in Niagara on the Lake, in Ontario. Having worked throughout playing various roles, Imali was fortunate to be selected to appear in Suits, one of America’s most famous TV shows and one that propelled Megan Markle into the spotlight. For Imali, who grew up reading Enid Blyton books it was a dream come true to be cast as Miss Potts in the 13 episode adaptation of Malory Towers.