Ac­tor takes to the stage

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABA­DIA

Bhavna Singh Cha­hal took a while to re­alise she’s a cre­ative per­son at heart.

Since mov­ing here from In­dia in 2005 she’s done all sorts of jobs. The en­gi­neer­ing grad­u­ate has worked as a call cen­tre op­er­a­tor, a bank­ing ad­viser, a travel agency team leader and break­fast host for In­dian ra­dio sta­tion Humm FM.

‘‘I would achieve what I wanted quickly in a role and then get bored. But when I started as a ra­dio DJ I was so happy be­cause it was a chal­lenge ev­ery­day.’’

Through her ra­dio job she was ap­proached to do voice-over work for Mum­bai Mono­logues which was part of the Auck­land Pride Fes­ti­val 2014.

Next week the 32-year-old will make her act­ing de­but in Prayas Theatre Com­pany’s re­work­ing of Cha­ran­das Chor: The Hon­est Thief at TA­PAC.

The ru­ral In­dian folk play fea­tures a cast of 30 and a live band. It was the com­pany’s first pro­duc­tion and it was per­formed at the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val in 1982, pick­ing up the Fringe Firsts award.

The story is about a thief who takes a vow to never tell an­other lie. The One Tree Hill res­i­dent plays the queen who falls in love with the thief.

‘‘At the au­di­tion they told me they liked my comic tim­ing but then they gave me the role of the queen and she’s evil. It was the strangest role I could think of but I love it.’’

Try­ing to mem­o­rise the script was a bit daunt­ing at first.

At the first re­hearsal Singh Cha­hal was so ner­vous she for­got all her lines but now she has them down pat.

‘‘When I be­gan I wasn’t re­ally act­ing, I was just wait­ing for my turn. Then I started watch­ing more ex­pe­ri­enced ac­tors.

‘‘What they do is re­late to the people in front of them,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s about hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with the other ac­tors and lis­ten­ing to what they have to say. It’s such a thrill.

‘‘I feel like I’ve found my call­ing af­ter a long, long time.’’

Photo: KA­RINA ABA­DIA

Act­ing novice: Bhavna Singh Cha­hal per­forms in Cha­ran­das Chor: The Hon­est Thief at TA­PAC from June 25 to 29.

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