A Cup of Tea with... Labyrinth's Abubakar Salim

Posted on 8 September 2016.

Posted in: HT Blogs

A Cup of Tea with... Labyrinth's Abubakar Salim

We chat to Labyrinth actor Abubakar Salim about Beauty and the BeastBatman and the importance of flossing. Labyrinth is now playing until 8 October. 


Can you describe Labyrinth in a nutshell?

A "modern" myth of Icarus.


What first attracted you to Labyrinth?

The clarity of the way in which banking is used as a tool to convey a much deeper issue that we suffer from as a society. I loved how the play explored this, and does it so that it doesn't feel like you're in a lecture. You're not removed from it. You're in it. 


Without giving too much away, what’s your favourite line from the show?

'Everything has its price.'


What made you want to become an actor?

That one day, I could be Batman...I mean I could say it was when I realised the power of storytelling and the effect that that can have on an audience member from whatever background, but the strongest pull was the idea that I could one day play (and be) Batman. 


Are there any actors that you are particularly inspired by?

Intriguing people inspire me. I respect the work of actors as I feel they do have the power to open the eyes of the audience and make them reflect, but even then, a lot of it comes down to the writing. But I personally find my inspiration through the little idiosyncrasies of people around me.


What was your first experience on stage?

Earliest memory would be me in front of my mum and dad, re-enacting the scene from Beauty and the Beast (Disney version) when Beast transforms into the prince. Parents weren't impressed but they didn't complain about it either so from that, I say it was a successful experience! 


What would be your dream role?

Batman. Or Dracula. I guess a Bat.


Any embarrassing moments on stage or on screen?

Funnily enough, it's happened on this show. Screwing up my lines and, as exiting, almost falling off the stage onto the laps of an audience member! 


If you weren’t an actor what would you be?

I would probably have been a programmer. I love computers and all the crazy things that come out of technology. 


What play have you seen recently that you’ve really enjoyed? And why?

People, places and thingsThe acting, writing, design, just everything was incredibly on point. It's hard to lose yourself in a production when you know what goes on behind the scenes, but that play truly moved me.


Where’s your favourite place in London?

Maison Bertaux.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Brush your teeth twice a day and don't forget to floss.


And finally, what’s your favourite Labyrinth-era (late 70s/80s) track?

Delirious - Prince


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