Shabana Azmi-Goldy Notay in Happy Birthday Sunita

After sharing screen space in It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, the actors will be seen together in a play

Four years after they came together as mother and daughter in Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, Shabana Azmi and British-Canadian actress Goldy Notay are all set re-unite again, this time on stage in a play entitled Happy Birthday Sunita to be staged in London.

Speaking from London, Shabana says, “I’m in a two-bedroom apartment by myself and was also planning to travel by tube to work but the producers were too nervous to let me do that, so I’ve agreed to have a car fetch me and drop me back from work.”

Shabana says it’s a welcome change to be free for a while of domestic responsibilities. “I’m looking forward to the experience of fending for myself. I can’t cook to save my life and have a jani dushmani with all appliances, so it’s a huge struggle. When I open the microwave door it starts singing like the radio! The washing machine behaves like the refrigerator! Woody Allen and I have that in common!”

About the play Shabana says, “It’s about an Asian family in Britain that has come together to celebrate the 40th birthday of the daughter of the house who is still unmarried. Slowly it gets revealed that everyone is wearing a mask and pretending everything is fine. When the 57- year-old mother of the house Tejpal Singh played by me, decides to rebel, all hell breaks loose because they’ve always just seen her as a mother and never as a person. This acts as a catalyst for change for the entire family who drop their pretensions and finally decide to live the way they always wanted.”

Adds Goldy Notay, “We’re in awe of Shabana. She is utterly captivating and convincing. We shared samosa guilt today during our tea break.”