Sahil Saluja tells us about his upcoming role as Poornachandra in Melbourne Talam.
What are you most looking forward to about playing Poornachandra?
Poorna’s life is centred around rhythms. The way he sits, talks, even waits at the train station is governed by a rhythm; a rhythm he has acquired from Carnatic music, his mother’s voice and just being Hyberabadi. I am excited to capture that rhythm and bring it to Melbourne.
I am also super keen to play with the challenging character arc that Poorna has throughout the play. From entering a strange unsettling world to settling into that world and finding a new rhythm/talam. And of course, the treadmills.
You’ve been working on Melbourne Talam since the very beginning – what do you love about this play and why is it special to you?
Apart from the three central characters, the minor characters are so human and engaging, which makes the play so unique.
I am an Indian raised in India throughout my life so I have experiences [similar to] Jassi, Poorna and Sonali’s lives, and it is so fantastic to see these characters on an Australian stage.
I am absolutely in love with the flaws of all the characters that Rashma has written with such dexterity. It makes this play funny, happy, crazy and so sad at the same time. As an Indian actor, to be on an MTC stage is also very special.
Why do you think theatre is a powerful medium?
For me, theatre has this ability of creating an empathetic world in front of you within an instant and this world is so tangible, which makes it special.
Theatre has this ability of being different every day. So audiences can experience something absolutely new every night and this uncertainty/element of surprise is exhilarating.
Good theatre can last a lifetime and the messages are universal. They can be understood even 100 years from now.
Melbourne Talam plays at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler from 4 – 20 May. Book now.