Interview With…Tony Jayawardena

We chatted to the actor about starring in The Invisible Hand at the Kiln Theatre…

(c)Mark Douet

Hi Tony, for those who haven’t seen it what is The Invisible Hand about? The Invisible Hand is about the kidnap and ransom of an American banker working in Pakistan. When the ransom money isn’t forth coming the banker suggests that he can use his skills in the money markets to buy his freedom. The pursuit and acquisition of this money leads to dark and thrilling consequences. 

What was it about the story that grabbed your attention?It is brilliantly written by Ayad Akhtar and it’s a privilege to speak his words. His intelligence and wit shine throughout the script which makes this an incredibly attractive proposition for an actor.

Could you tell me more about your character Imam?Imam Saleem is the head of the group that have kidnapped the banker, Nick Bright. He uses the money from such schemes to fund hospitals and schools in his community as well as a variety of other projects. As with many poverty ridden areas of the world, people will do anything to survive.

How does it feel to be returning to the Kiln Theatre? Coming back to the Kiln is like coming home. I’ve been lucky to work here many times in recent years with Indhu Rubasingham and it’s great to be back in the building seeing many familiar faces. They have made us feel so welcome and safe, with not only particular emphasis on Covid protocols but also with our mental health. Everyone has had a hard time over lockdown and the Kiln is very mindful that coming back to work may throw up some challenges. They’ve been amazing.

How has it been working on the production so far? Working on the production has been fantastic. The rest of the cast, Dan Lapaine, Scott Karim and Sid Sagar are old friends. So being in a room with them and Indhu has been the perfect way to get back to work post lockdown. Just getting to work on a play in a theatre again feels joyous.

What is it that makes The Invisible Hand worth a watch? It’s a thriller that really grabs the attention of an audience. It’s fast paced and exquisitely written and makes for a wonderful trip to the theatre. So, I encourage you all to book your tickets and join us to celebrate the return of live theatre! 

By Emma Clarendon

The Invisible Hand will play at the Kiln Theatre until the 31st July .

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