Interview with Zubin Varla – Ghost Quartet

We sat down and chatted with the incredibly talented Zubin Varla, who makes up one quarter of the brilliant Ghost Quartet cast. Read on to find out more…

Can you describe Ghost Quartet in a nutshell?

No! A nutshell’s too small a space in which to describe Ghost Quartet! Here’s an attempt. Four friends gather together with whiskey and musical instruments to tell four (or maybe five) interweaving stories in song. The stories they sing about are influenced by the Arabian Nights, Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a photograph in the New York Post from 2012 and other sources both literary and musical. The music is a wonderful eclectic mix of styles and the stories are linked by a fascination with past lives, loss, remembrance, love, rediscovery and rebirth, our place in the Universe. Little man and little woman struggling on through the wind and rain inside this huge chaotic cosmos littered with stars.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role in the show?

I’m the pianist, obsessed with Thelonious Monk, I’m also a tree dwelling 17th century Astronomer,  Lord Usher in a Gothic 19th century setting and a subway driver in 21st century New York City.

I suppose I’m also simply one of four storytellers.

What made you want to be part of Ghost Quartet?

Oh making music with people. Then when I heard the recording I was captivated. The score is so unique and listening to the entire album was a bewitching experience. Then the thought of how challenging it would be to create our own ‘live’ version was exciting. The music takes you on such a journey and has such heart, and the work quite literally opens its arms to you and offers an embrace.

How does it feel to be part of the Boulevard’s inaugural production.

The theatre is a terrific space. I love intimate venues and the design of the Boulevard is brilliant and suits Ghost Quartet so perfectly. As Rachel Edwards said when she welcomed everyone on the first day of rehearsals, theatre’s are democratic spaces where we come together to share stories about the human experience. Being in the round is the perfect expression of that. It’s remarkable to be part of the rebirth of this iconic venue and be lucky enough to open it. I feel attached and invested in its growing pangs, and excited to see it blossom!