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Indian Ink Theatre Company

Indian Ink Theatre Company is one of New Zealand’s most successful theatre companies with a reputation for “total theatre which offers humanity and psychological insight in a package of good plain laughs, luminous performances and brilliant staging” (Dominion Post, NZ).

For over 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.

Together with a team of long term collaborators they have created an extraordinary series of plays that have won awards and delighted audiences throughout New Zealand and around the world. The company’s international successes include tours throughout Australia and the USA, as well as sell out seasons in Singapore, Germany, India and the UK.

Indian Ink has won three Production of the Year awards, two Edinburgh Fringe First Awards, won Best Play, Best Composer and Best Actor at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards and broken box office records with tours throughout New Zealand, to Australia, Singapore and Edinburgh.

“We aim to make theatre that is beautiful, funny, sad and true. We go to the theatre to be transported by a great story and to enjoy characters who live large in our imaginations. We want the experience to leave an indelible imprint on your hearts. That’s why we’re called Indian Ink!”

Indian Ink’s Advisory Board

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of our Advisory Board:

John Gow (Chair): Well-known philanthropist and champion of the Arts. Co-Owner of the Connells Bay Sculpture Park and Former Trustee of Rotoroa Island Trust.

Craig Anderson: Businessman and former Board Member of Q Theatre Ltd, Gifted Kids Programme and Books in Homes.

Ranjna Patel: Founder of Gandhi Nivas and past Founder and Director of Tamaki Health.

Alice Canton: Experienced Theatre Artist, Teacher and Business Consultant.

Helen Klisser During: Art Advisor, curator, global art project champion, and photojournalist.

(Left to Right) Jacob Rajan, Ranjna Patel, Jude Froude, Alice Canton, Justin Lewis, John Gow and Helen Klisser During.

(Left to Right) Craig Anderson, John Gow, Chrissie Fernyhough, Jacob Rajan, Ranjna Patel and Helen Klisser During.





  • 2014 Accolade for Acting - Jacob Rajan
  • 2014 Composer of the Year (David Ward - Kiss The Fish)
  • 2014 Outstanding New New Zealand Play (Kiss The Fish) 
  • 2010 NZ Play of the Year (Guru of Chai)
  • 2010 Actor of the Year (Jacob Rajan - Guru of Chai)
  • 2010 Composer of the Year (David Ward - Guru of Chai)
  • 2003 Fringe First Award, Edinburgh
  • 2002 NZ Arts Foundation Laureate - Jacob Rajan
  • 2002 Accolade for Acting - Jacob Rajan
  • 2002 NZ Production of the Year
  • 1999 Fringe First Award, Edinburgh
  • 1999 NZ Production of the Year
  • 1997 NZ Production of the Year


  • 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards Most Promising Newcomer - Kalyani Nagarajan (Mrs Krishnan's Party)
  • 2010 NZ Production of the Year (Guru of Chai)
  • 2010 Director of the Year - Justin Lewis (Guru of Chai)
  • 2002 NZ Most Original Production
  • 2002 NZ Most Outstanding New Play
  • 2002 NZ Best Actor - Jacob Rajan
  • 2002 NZ Best Actress - Ansuya Nathan
  • 2002 NZ Best Newcomer - Ansuya Nathan
  • 2002 NZ Best Costume Design - John Verryt
  • 2000 Best New Zealand Play
  • 1999 Best Actor, Edinburgh - Jacob Rajan
  • 1997 NZ Most Outstanding New Play
  • 1997 NZ Best Actor - Jacob Rajan
  • 1997 NZ Best Sound Design

Production Map


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