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lime Theatre Interview: Treasure Island

Lime interview - Theatre

Treasure Island

words by

Natasha Julien

Reporter: Natasha Julien

This winter, Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life on the Olivier stage in a thrilling new adaptation by Bryony Lavery.

It’s a dark, stormy night. The stars are out. Jim, the inn-keeper’s granddaughter, opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor’s feet sits a huge sea-chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in – and her dangerous voyage begins……..

Natasha Julien Interviewing Raj Bajaj for Lime Magazine

Raj how does it feel to be described as a rising star?

That’s very kind of you but I wouldn’t say I’m a rising star. I’ve just been very lucky and grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me.

Are you from an acting family?
If you met my family you would say all 6 siblings were actors but unfortunately I was the only one who took it up full time!

What inspired you to become an actor?
Well I’ve always enjoyed performing from a very young age but I saw a production of The Seagull at the Bristol Old Vic when I was 15 and was completely blown away.  It was the first piece of theatre I’d seen and it gave me the bug!

If you wasn’t an actor did you have a back-up plan?  What would have been the alternative?
Well that’s simple... I would’ve studied Biochemistry at university. Having a degree was drilled into me by my parents and siblings so I started as levels but quickly decided that it wasn’t for me unless acting never worked out.

Can you describe some of your best and worst moments of being an actor?
Every time you are on stage is a great moment but also getting that phone call from your agent about a play you so badly wanted to be cast in is equally great. My worst moment had to be accidentally falling into a swimming pool full of ice cold water whilst performing the final scene in Romeo and Juliet at Victoria Bath’s. Enough said!

You appear to be following in some very prestigious footsteps, i.e winning a Laurence Oliver Bursary award previous actors have included Ewan McGregor, treading the boards at the National Theatre, has this been part of a cunning plan, or are you born under a lucky star?
Well you should always have goals in whatever you do, and working at the National has always been one of them. However that lucky star has got a lot to do with it!

Tell me about your character that you are playing in Treasure Island?
I’m playing Job Anderson, a ploughman working in Black Cove who decides to embark on a journey at sea. Eager to learn and loyal, he finds out sea life is a difficult business. 

The play has a 10+ rating why is that?  Are there dark themes that audience can delve into?
Yes absolutely. I don’t want to give too much away but just think about dark pirates and use your imagination. Treachery,  murder, deception - the list goes on.

Has there been a particular moment that you can describe when you knew that acting was definitely what you should be doing as a career?
There’s not a particular moment but the general feeling of being happy and developing and honing your skills is very rewarding.

What was the worst job that you have done?
So far they’ve all been ok1

What do you do to relax and totally switch of from London, acting, the world?
I go back home to Bristol and spend time with my family who are an important factor in my life. I LOVE food and I’m a massive UFC Fan

What can the audience expect from Treasure Island that differs from Christmas productions currently?
One word...EPIC You’ll have to book and find out!

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