Spotlight: Madhav Sharma, Actor

Madhav Sharma

Madhav studied acting at RADA, he has starred in productions of Behzti, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet, and films that include East is East and The Blue Tower.

What’s the most exciting piece of theatre you have seen recently?

Although unevenly cast, it was Tim Supple’s multi-cultural production of As You Like It at The Curve, Leicester. The final scene was so moving that it took my breath away.

When playing Hamlet in Joseph O’Conor’s production what was the biggest challenge you faced?

Joseph O’Conor, who had played it in Sir Donald Wolfit’s company and who directed me, warned that the biggest challenge is not to be daunted by the fact that an awful lot of people have their own preconceptions of how he should be played. To thine own self be true.

You starred in the play Behzti, written by Gurpreet Kaur, that caused controversy in 2004 for its rape scene in a Gurudwara. Do you think there should be a line drawn between art and religion?

Behzti, in my opinion, is not a play about religion, it is about human fallibility and hypocrisy. Art, as Picasso reminded us, is a lie that enables one to tell the truth. Faith has nothing to fear from fiction.

Are there different obstacles facing black and ethnic minority actors?

Yes there are, lack of proper career development for one. Prejudice, based on colour of skin is still prevalent, and even those who spout a belief in equality have done nothing to create equality of opportunity, which is what we need.

How do you think theatres can appeal to a more diverse and young audience?

By being more accessible: less mono-cultural, less elitist , less bound by convention masquerading as tradition, and less about abstract theory. Instead more about feeling, more multi-racial, and more welcoming.


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