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The Guru of Chai: SOLD OUT

When:

Tue 28 Sep 2010, 6:30pm–8:00pm
Wed 29 Sep 2010, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Thu 30 Sep 2010, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Fri 1 Oct 2010, 8:00pm–9:30pm
Sat 2 Oct 2010, 8:00pm–9:30pm

Where: Downstage Theatre, 12 Cambridge Tce, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Premium adult: $49.00
  • A Res adult: $39.00
  • A Res concession/student/child: $34.00
  • B Res adult: $29.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Related Artists:

Listed by: SWPR Ltd

“The Guru of Chai showcases Jacob at his very best and reinforces him as one of NZ's most hard working, deserving, disciplined and gifted theatre artists.... Guru's magical elements all add up to a very captivating, moving piece of theatre." – Kate Ward Smythe, Theatreview (2010).

Larger-than-life characters, live music, puppetry and a story of love, loss and enlightenment come together against the vibrant chaos of modern India in Indian Ink Theatre Company’s latest play The Guru of Chai.

The Guru of Chai, starring theatrical magician and award-winning actor Jacob Rajan, heads to Wellington’s Downstage Theatre as part of a four-centre New Zealand tour before seasons in Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore.

Set against a backdrop of modern India, The Guru of Chai features Jacob Rajan as he magically brings to life a delicious brew of colourful characters – from a poor young girl with a heavenly voice, a shady thug, an ambitious policeman to a desirable stuffed parrot and of course the guru, Kutisar with his dubious talents.

Jacob says the storyteller, Kutisar, has been one of his favourite creations. “He’s actually based on a mask dancer we met in Bali – a man steeped in the spirituality of mask dance, but with a weakness for beer and cockfighting and desperate to have a Facebook page. He literally danced into our lives and onto the pages of this play as a fully-formed character.”

The mercurial Kutisar guides the audience through the story of a young girl, Balna, and her six sisters who are abandoned at a busy Indian railway station. They bring the place to a standstill with the beauty of their singing. An honest young policeman falls hopelessly in love with her but is rejected in favour of a disreputable poet. The fate of all these characters is wrapped up in a poor chaiwallah’s (tea seller’s) role in the events – the chaiwallah is, of course, Kutisar, the self-proclaimed ‘Guru of Chai’.

Indian Ink founder, and director and co-writer of The Guru of Chai, Justin Lewis says the new play has its roots in a traditional Indian folk tale, but was further inspired by a recent trip to Bali to study Balinese mask.

For Jacob, who co-wrote the play with Justin, the challenge is keeping alive dozens of different characters, slipping between each with just a change of voice and expression. “At one time I have more than 10 characters on stage at the same time and I need to keep them all alive for the audience. It’s a challenge I enjoy.”

Sharing the stage with Jacob is composer and musician Dave Ward who provides the musical backdrop.

The Guru of Chai is the latest play from one of New Zealand’s leading theatre companies and marks more than 10 years of Jacob and Justin’s theatrical partnership. Indian Ink Theatre Company is well-known for the highly successful trilogy of plays Krishnan’s Dairy, The Candlestickmaker and The Pickle King which have had sold-out seasons in New Zealand and international tours to Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Following the 2010 seasons in New Zealand, The Guru of Chai will play in Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore, with a United States tour to be confirmed for September to November 2011.

For more information, visit www.indianink.co.nz.

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