Sustained Theatre Interview

When and where are you happiest?
With people I feel safe with – with my partner, with my family, around a table with food and drink

What is your greatest ambition?
I’d like most to have some longevity as a writer. To leave a legacy that will inspire other writers in years to come

What is your greatest fear?
To be ordinary

What inspires you?
All of life

What has been or is the biggest challenge you’ve faced, pursuing a career in the Arts?
Being judged before I’ve even written or said a word; walking into a room and people thinking they know exactly who I am, what I’m about and why they don’t want me. Because you’re a minority, you’re seen to represent a whole entity

What do you wish you’d known when you were younger, that you know now?
That it’s enough to be me

What has been your proudest moment?
Taking my play, my one-woman show Pooja to Jaffna, the warzone in Sri Lanka in 2003, on a British Council tour. No Tamil woman has gone there and performed there and 700 people turned up for a 400 capacity theatre. My parents haven’t been back to Jaffna – because of the war – since they were children…and they came over to see me perform. It was poignant, like things had come full circle

And your most embarrassing?
Well…I just never get embarrassed. I’m very easily able to laugh at myself

Do you think British theatre is in a state of crisis?
Never. History proves we go through a state of thinking that it will all fall apart but film did not kill theatre and television didn’t kill film. Theatre will go through revolution and evolve, certain types might die off and become irrelevant, but people will continue to be drawn to it

What do you hope for Sustained Theatre to achieve?
I agree with its purpose as long as it doesn’t become another exercise in pigeonholing. Until we achieve a point where it is irrelevant to say “this theatre is
Black or Asian”, I don’t think we’ve achieved much. We can become very tribal about these things and that can be reductive

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