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.
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.