Sonya Suares tells us about her upcoming role as Sonali in Melbourne Talam.
What are you most looking forward to about playing Sonali?
Sonali is a lot of fun to inhabit – she’s so flawed as a person and it’s all on the surface for everyone to see. The great part is that underneath her entitlement and vanity, there’s a very real need for connection that drives her. She wants to feel loved and valued, which is something that everyone can identify with. And we get to see her isolation and loneliness as well as all of the lighter, clown-like behaviour. So it’s a really rich role for an actor.
Melbourne Talam tells ones of many immigration stories in Australia – do you think there is a greater need for sharing these stories on our stages?
Of course! Australia is an immigration nation – these are the stories of who we are so it is vitally important that they appear on our stages.
Why do you think theatre is a powerful medium?
Theatre is an extraordinarily powerful medium: that’s why it’s survived for millennia despite the advent of cinema and television.
Theatre does something that celluloid cannot do – it brings people together. We experience live performance collectively. And because it is live, it is dynamic and ephemeral. Each performance is a shared experience with an audience that is entirely unique and cannot be repeated.
Also, theatre is the arena of dreamscapes and metaphor. So whereas screen work tends much more towards naturalism, theatre allows for an imaginative freedom. It’s a bold, visceral, muscular form and it requires the same qualities from actors, which is perhaps why I love it.
Melbourne Talam plays at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler from 4 – 20 May. Book now.