Interview with Ulrika Krishnamurti

Ulrika Krishnamurti’s artistic journey began when she was just twelve years old with Rockford, a coming-of-age cult classic by acclaimed filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor. Since then she’s racked up a huge number of theatre, film and television credits including Made in India, Pink Sari
Revolution, Holby City, The Anushree Experiments
and Dead Men Tell No Fairy Tales. Ulrika is also a singer of jazz and Indian classical music. Through her theatre company, Transcend Drama, she aims to create theatre that truly affects – at its best, art can be a powerful medium for social change.

Ulrika is set to perform as The Trick Rider/Aouda in the York Theatre Royal production of Around The World in 80 Days. I was lucky enough to gain access to this fantastic interview to find out more about her role and her artistic journey so far…

Have you played at York Theatre Royal before? Or worked with any of the other cast and creatives before?

I came to York Theatre Royal in 2017 with the play Made in India by Satinder Chohan. I got a little taste of the beauty of York, but it was for less than a week. So I feel lucky to spend almost two months here this time round.

Your artistic journey began at the age of 12 – how did it come about and what was the role?

A bunch of kids from different schools auditioned for this coming-of-age film set in a boarding school in India. I didn’t realise at the time that this would forever be my first tryst with acting. I played the ‘love interest’ and my first-ever kiss took place on screen. It was beyond embarrassing.

You play The Trick Rider in the circus-themed Around the World in 80 Days – what tricks can we expect to see?

I don’t think you can expect to see me ride a horse or a motorbike, but I might just be able to do something with a hula hoop. Whoop whoop!

You also play Aouda – how does the character fit into the story?

Aouda is an Indian princess who joins Phileas Fogg on his journey around the world after an unexpected turn of events. Lucky Fogg! Except he doesn’t know how to handle her directness and emotional vulnerability. So she has to lead the way.

Would you like to go around the world in 80 days?

Oh yes! With a travelling circus show and no flights and nothing but my hula hoop in my luggage!

Place you’d most like to visit?

The Amazon rainforests. I’ve always wanted to go to South America and go deep into the forest.

What’s your most memorable moment on stage?

Every moment of theatre is precious. I feel that now (since the pandemic) more than ever before.

Where does singing jazz and Indian classical music fit into your work plan?

Singing is such a brilliant form of expression. For me, Indian classical music and jazz both allow for creative expression in ways that my other creative practices don’t. In fact, I want to start writing songs or spoken word that I can set to music as I think sometimes the only way to capture the essence of a story or a feeling might be through sound or poetry.

Any other hobbies, passions, obsessions you’d like to reveal?
Actually I’m a fairly big geek. I’m passionate about the mind-body connection and I’m doing a part-time degree in Neuroscience and Psychology.

Don’t miss your chance to see Ulrika in Around the World in 80 Days when the show tours outdoor venues and York Theatre Royal between 6th and 28th August.

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