To give you a taste of what's to come in our online New Speak Re-Imagined
programme, our commissioned artists are here to tell you more about themselves and the work they are creating. Lata Sharma tells us more about her play, Sausage Sodas and Onion Bhajees.Sausage Sodas and Onion BhajeesMy name is Lata Sharma and I would say that my career path has ranged from working in the media as a TV and radio presenter for the BBC both locally and nationally, to singing in bands with incredibly talented local musicians, but in the early days of this amazing journey I began it all as an actress, and as a brown skinned, Indian girl, (now woman) who is proud to be born and reared in this enigma called Northern Ireland, I decided to write a play entitled, Sausage Sodas and Onion Bhajees! I love this place you see, the people and all those incredible people I grew up with, so this is a story of my Indian teenage self, learning how I navigated my way with local people going through the long held historical, political divisions here. The violence, the hurt and sensitivities, but I also had to include my experiences as a daughter of Indian immigrants who were trying to hold on to their traditions and me finding myself stuck between the Indian cultural traditions and how they clashed with local traditions! You see I love both the culture and heritage of my Indian parents and that of the place I was born, a bit like my love for the taste of sausage sodas and onion bhajees, I just can’t have one without the other! Many close to me told me to write a play and no one more so than my husband Paul McCarthy, but it was Martin Lynch who finally persuaded me to get on with it and I was thrilled to bits I can tell you, as it was Jimmy Fay, the “Boss” of the Lyric Theatre who gave me the opportunity to perform it at the Lyric, beginning with introducing some excerpts from Sausage Sodas and Onion Bhajees, at their New Speak event in April! Writing Sausage Sodas and Onion Bhajees was a huge challenge to me as I’m not someone who has ever done anything of this nature before. The next challenge was reading it to people who I’ve known for many years in the acting profession, getting their approval and being told to keep moving forward, which I did tentatively as it’s been quite a while since I’ve worked in theatre... And so here I am, only now as with everyone else on lockdown, but at home with 3 children and my husband! Yikes!
New Speak Re-Imagined will feature over four episodes here and on our YouTube channel each Friday from 24th April. Click here to find out more and watch the latest episode.