ICTheatre Training Professional Laraib Waheed, interviewed by BBC on South Asian representation

23 March, 2022

Second-year BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Training Professional, Laraib Waheed was interviewed for the BBC on the representation of South Asian actors on TV today.

In the article she discusses Hit BBC Period Drama ‘Bridgerton’ which returns for it’s second series this Friday – with two of it’s lead characters portrayed by actors of South Asian heritage.

“If you’ve not seen yourself on screen before, why would you ever want to go for that role?” Laraib Waheed told BBC.

She wants to make a living in musical theatre one day, but for now she’s sitting in the kitchen of her student house – taking a break from her training to chat.

The lack of South Asian actors in prominent television roles, she says, makes people like her worry their dream career is “not realistic”. But the 19-year-old is optimistic that things are beginning to change.

“I think it’s quite ground-breaking,” says the student, who’s living in Brighton. Born in London, her family is originally from Pakistan.

“You’ve suddenly got representation from not one, but two South Asian women and it’s a period drama which traditionally you’d only see white cast members in.”

What’s rare about this, according to Laraib, is that usually when South Asian actors do get on screen they tend “to be in a supporting role or playing a stereotype”.

“When I see any person of colour on screen, especially if they are South Asian, it lights something up in me because you just don’t see it.”


You can read the full BBC article with Laraib here.

The radio piece was also live on the Newsbeat segment on Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network which you can listen back to via BBC Sounds. 

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