Indian Ink Theatre Company

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Jacob Rajan, Writer and Actor

Jacob is an Arts Foundation Laureate and is a founding partner of Indian Ink. He collaborated to create Krishnan’s Dairy, The Candlestickmaker, The Pickle King, The Dentist’s Chair and The Guru of Chai and has performed them throughout New Zealand and internationally.

Jacob has won “Best Actor” in the 2010 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for ‘The Guru of Chai’. He has also received an accolade for acting excellence and was nominated for the Stage Award for Best Actor at the Edinburgh Fringe. Jacob has featured on New Zealand TV series (Outrageous Fortune and Shortland Street).

Jacob’s family originates in Kerala, Southern India. He was born in Malaysia and immigrated to New Zealand at the age of four. Jacob has a degree in microbiology, a teacher’s diploma and is a graduate of Toi Whakaari – The New Zealand Drama School.


Justin Lewis, Writer and Actor

Justin is a founding partner of Indian Ink and collaborated with Jacob Rajan to create the company’s works: Krishnan’s Dairy, The Candlestickmaker, The Pickle King, The Dentist’s Chair and Guru of Chai. Indian Ink’s productions have won numerous awards including two Edinburgh Fringe First Awards and Three production of the Year Awards in New Zealand. Justin has produced numerous national and international tours. He is Deputy Chair of Q Theatre and has been heavily involved in its development from the beginning. In 2008 he received a Kaupapa Oranga Award for his services to theatre. Justin is a graduate of the John Bolton Theatre School and University of Auckland.


The Company

Indian Ink has become one of New Zealand’s most successful touring theatre companies performing in every major New Zealand theatre and city since 1997; from intimate black boxes to 800+ Lyric theatres. Return seasons sell out before opening, and the company has broken box office records on the way to a total audience of more than 175,000 people. Indian Ink has toured internationally to great success and has won two Fringe First Awards from its two trips to Edinburgh.

Founded in 1997 by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis, the company was a team of long term collaborators who combine to make work that is beautiful, funny, sad and true. The ‘serious laugh’ (using laughter to open the audience to deeper themes) is central to the company’s approach, along with a love of mask and of story. The company blends western theatrical traditions with eastern flavours and has been critically acclaimed for its use of live music, heightened theatricality, humour, pathos and great storytelling.

The company’s first three plays (Krishnan’s Dairy, The Candlestickmaker, The Pickle King) have been collected in ” The Triilogy Book” published by Victoria University Press, and the works are taught in secondary school and university drama departments. The company has also been acclaimed for its business practices being frequently cited as a benchmark for excellence, innovation, flexibility and sustainability.

Indian Ink has five productions in repertoire that are proven in domestic and international touring. Currently Indian Ink is developing a brand new show, Kiss the Fish, due to premiere in the middle of 2013.

REPERTORY

2023/2024 SEASON

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Paradise (or the impermanence of ice cream)

Kutisar, your unlikely spiritual guide from The Elephant Wrestler, returns to guide you to Paradise. Jacob Rajan’s masterful storytelling is center stage as he weaves 1980s Mumbai nightclubs, raging infernos and ice- cream into the mystery of India’s vanishing vultures. Laugh out loud funny and profoundly moving, the latest play from Indian Ink is packed full of delicious treats like exquisite puppetry, thrilling music and magical staging. Based on a true story..
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Mrs. Krishnan's Party

Step into the back room of Mrs Krishnan’s convenience store where garlands decorate the ceiling, music flows and Mrs Krishnan is throwing a party like no other. Food simmers on the stove, laughter abounds and strangers become friends in this joyous celebration of life.

Watch the actors juggle cooking, music and guests in an unfolding drama where no two nights are the same at a show that has the critics raving and audiences leaping to their feet.

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Dirty Work

Indian Ink’s newest play is full of surprises as our actors are joined on stage by a different choir every night. The choirs have rehearsed their songs but have no idea of the story as they are plunged into the world of the modern office. Three actors deftly guide the chorus through a hilarious drama that is elevated by the beauty and power of people harmonizing in song.

Featuring contemporary pop hits and a fresh take on classic tunes, Dirty Work is a comedy about finding joy in the eternal toil of work. With over 20 people on stage we take things up an octave in our biggest show ever.

WATCH

Jacob & Justin Discuss
Mrs. K's Party

Paradise/ Mrs. K's Party
Breaking it down with Indian Ink

Paradise Teaser

“The heavier themes are explored with a deft touch, helped along by Rajan’s flawless transitions from character to character.” -Theaterscenes

For almost two decades Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis have pursued their idea of the ‘Serious Laugh’- opening mouths with laughter in order to slip something serious in along with a love of mask and story. The company blends western theatrical traditions with eastern flavours and has been critically acclaimed for its use of live music, heightened theatricality, humour, pathos and great storytelling.

GALLERY

EXPLORE

Mrs. Krishnan's Party Planner

"Dirty Work" Synopsis

PRESS

Mrs. Krishnan's Party

“You’ll dance, laugh like crazy, and become a part of the event...It’s beautiful in that it welcomes anyone and everyone”

- Two Cents & Two Pence, Vancouver

Paradise

“Rajan’s production is no doubt exhausting to perform, but effortless to watch.”

-Theaterscenes

Mrs. Krishnan's Party

“The -unsurprising -standing ovation at the end of the play spoke volumes”

- NZ Herald

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