Genevieve Sabherwal: Speed Dial for Mystery, Puzzles, and Physical Comedy
By: ASJAD NAZIR
High energy stage play Speed Dial thrilled Edinburgh Fringe festival audiences.
The 1970s physical comedy thriller, filled with puzzles, mystery and fun moments, has a talented cast that includes Genevieve Sabherwal. The talented British actress enjoys being on stage with other cast members and was happy to chat Speed Dial with eastern eye ahead of the production premiere on August 3.
She also talked about acting, her dream role and being part of the huge arts festival.
What first connected you to theatre?
Raised in New Delhi, I was surrounded by my big Indian family, lots of theater and, of course, Bollywood. Always the shyest in the room, I quietly observed everyone and everything. I loved pretending to be them and creating my own shows in my bedroom.
Tell us about Speed Dial?
Speed Dial is an explosive physical comedy thriller about connection and forgiveness. It is located on a university campus in the 1970s; so get ready to put on your detective hat as you follow the professor and the mystery of his missing daughter.
How does this compare to other projects you have done?
There’s no drag with this show – you’re directly immersed in the action, the silliness and the movement. Having relatives in different countries, I immediately resonated with this story, and I naturally felt very attached to the script. Moreover, there is such a beautiful energy in the rehearsal room, and a common ambition of the whole to push the work.
What’s your favorite moment on the show?
I can’t give away too much, but there’s a summer ball, and it’s epic. Get ready to groove in your seats.
How do you feel on stage?
I am always proud to share history with the public. When I’m nervous, I remind myself that this is a story for them, and I want to make it the best story possible.
How does comedy compare to other genres as an actor?
Comedy is so difficult. You must be prepared to be vulnerable, silly, and to make mistakes. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, and there’s always the fear that the audience won’t react the way you think; however, that’s also the beauty of it, because no two audiences are the same.
Who is your acting hero?
Audrey Brisson has always inspired me. Since I first saw her in Flying Lovers of Vitebsk from Knee High, I knew I wanted to do theater like her. Hopefully we’ll be on the same show one day.
What inspires you as an actress?
The ability to share stories that need to be heard. Transporting an audience to another world, taking them on a journey where they allow themselves to feel and see the world differently. I love that as an actress you can mold and shape yourself into anything and be anywhere. It allows you to embrace your imagination.
Do you have a dream role?
I would love to play a role of South Asian or English descent in the National Theatre, in a show that uses contemporary means to tell a story. We don’t see enough mixed South Asians on our stages and screens, and we come in such a wide range of appearances that I think it’s so important to show it. I know it would have made a big difference to me if I had seen someone like me on stage or on screen.
Why should we watch Speed Dial?
you should watch Speed Dial because not only will it make you laugh, dance, question society and bring out your inner detective, but it will also tug at your heartstrings, make you think of your own loved ones and hopefully everyone will pick up the phone after .
Spies Like Us Speed Dial August 3-29 (not August 16), 2:30 p.m. (75 minutes) at Pleasance Dome, Queen Dome, 5 Bristo Pl, Edinburgh EH8 9AL www.edfringe.com