Actor Sharan Phull: ‘The idea of representation is so important to me’
With credits including Bend It Like Beckham the Musical and Pink Sari Revolution, the performer talks to Roda Musa about her role in the upcoming production of Scrooge the Musical at Leicester’s Curve…
Did you always want to act?
I’ve always loved the idea of telling a story and communicating different characters. I started doing school productions in my teens. Then, after doing more shows at university, I decided it was something I wanted to pursue. As a British Asian actress, it was great to play parts in West Side Story and The Importance of Being Earnest – roles I never thought I’d do.
What’s your role in Scrooge?
It’s such a well-known story about the idea of Christmas and love and happiness. This production keeps those traditions alive, while creating a new experience for people who know the story. My character, the Ghost of Christmas Past, comes in like a beacon of light, bringing with her warmth and care. It’s a great role to play. There is so much you can glean from playing a supernatural and ethereal role. We are working with an illusions consultant from the Magic Circle and there are sure to be moments of great stagecraft. The magic of theatre is all about creating those kinds of experiences for people.
What’s your biggest inspiration?
I am inspired by the people I work with every day. I am surrounded by so many talented and creative people who are passionate about what they do. Their drive and passion is what drives me forward. Also I am fortunate enough to have really supportive family and friends who will come to all my shows wherever they are being performed. It’s also inspiring to see people telling the stories that are not necessarily told and putting their own stamp on things.
Do you think theatre is culturally inclusive?
The idea of representation is so important to me, and it is so critical to show all the different people we come across every day. Theatre is becoming increasingly inclusive – and it has to be. People are pushing and challenging preconceptions. They are realising that we’ve got to question things and create our own work. Theatre is for everybody and it should include everybody.
What struggles have you faced in your career?
There are always roles that you really want and you might not get, but I believe the right thing comes along when it is supposed to. I try to maintain a positive attitude – that has been the key to the variety of roles I’ve played. I come at things with an open mind and I love doing things that I’ve never done before. It all helps me to grow as an actor, whether coping with a difficult audition or a part I’m struggling with.
Scrooge the Musical runs at Leicester’s Curve until January 7