Glorious Treat Served Up Seamlessly

By Taranaki Daily News

If you are a cup half-full kind of person, the Guru of Chai is just for you.

This wonderfully-crafted play by the Indian Ink Theatre Company is showing in New Plymouth for one final performance tonight.

Near capacity crowds have been flocking to the TSB Showplace Theatre Royal for the past two nights to be mesmerised by this 75-minute treat.

The two-man show provides a wonderful insight into the complexities and quirkiness of everyday life in modern day India.

Wellington performer Jacob Rajan, who co-wrote the play, takes the audience on the journey of an opportunistic chai wallah (tea-seller) who find himself caught up in a tragic love story.

Supported by a mute musician, Rajan seamlessly plays the role of each and every character in the play from an overweight policemen to several abandoned singing sisters.

At times he manages to juggle a myriad of characters on stage at one time.

Watching a single person replicate a three-man fight scene, bullets and all, is a sight to behold.

The delivery of this critically acclaimed play is absolutely flawless.

Rajan does not miss a beat and his ability to switch from one character to another is striking.

The script flows and jokes are executed with perfect timing.

Rajan incorporates a charming dash of magic tricks into his performance and includes just the right amount of crowd interaction.

Like any good Indian love story the play features wonderfully crafted ditties and dancing.

The music and sound effects performed by the mute sidekick sets the mood superbly and adds a rich texture to the story.

Who knew the sound of a plastic bag rustling beside a microphone could replicate a monsoon downpour?

Like a consummate professional, Rajan managed to even turn a frustrating distraction into a highlight.

During the pivotal moment of the play, a rude audience member stomped down the stairs and walked in front of the intimate stage for a toilet break.

Upon returning the toilet offender found himself at the centre of attention as Rajan dropped a witty line to incorporate him into the scene.

The crowd burst into laughter at what was a rather tactless moment.

Just another example of Rajan’s broad theatrical talent.