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Ordinary people legendary love
Written By Jacob Rajan
We are ready to go now that New Zealand is in Orange!
Premiered in 1997

Take a look behind the counter of the corner dairy and discover a love story as wondrous as the Taj Mahal.

Jacob Rajan is utterly captivating as he juggles multiple characters in a career-defining performance that shows why he’s won numerous best actor awards.

Laughter, live music and exquisite masks make this a magical evening like no other.

Winner of the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe First Award and two Production of the Year Awards in New Zealand, this iconic play has won the hearts of generations of people throughout the world.

“A piece of absolute enchantment” – The Scotsman

“Comic genius” – Melbourne Age

“A ground-breaking work: it changes the way you see the world.” –  The Listener

Double the Fun

To celebrate 25 years of Indian Ink we’re performing Krishnan’s Dairy and Mrs Krishnan’s Party together for the first time ever.  See where it all started and where the story ends up two decades later.

Mrs Krishnan’s Party  “A joyful, highly theatrical celebration” NZ Herald

Read the 2022 programme: An Impressive 2022 programme to mark a quarter-century of Indian Ink

Read the serendipitous meeting between Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis: Let’s Play

I know what you’re thinking – Covid makes planning risky, right?
Rest easy, my friend, we’ve got you!
Krishnan’s Dairy is short, with no interval.
Our venues have high ceilings and supremely well-ventilated spaces.
Mask wearing is recommended to keep you and everyone around you safe.
If you feel unwell, you can transfer your tickets to another night.*
If you don’t get better in time, you can get a refund.*
If a show is cancelled, a full refund will be issued.
We’ll follow all guidelines and will do all we can to ensure a safe environment alongside our warm welcome back.
*For a refund or transfer notify us at least 4 hours prior to the show time.

  • from 09 June to 26 June 2022
    Rangatira, Q Theatre - Auckland
    Book Now
  • from 30 June to 02 July 2022
    Te Raukura ki Kāpiti - Kāpiti Coast
    Book Now
  • from 02 September to 03 September 2022
    Isaac Theatre Royal - Christchurch
    Book Now
  • from 08 September to 10 September 2022
    Clarence Street Theatre - Hamilton
    Book Now
  • from 17 September to 21 September 2022
    Soundings Theatre, Te Papa - Wellington
    Book Now
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Private Show Information

What do you get?

The Company brings lighting, set, costumes, and props to your selected venue (e.g. home or office) to create a truly magical occasion for your invited audience. There is no limit to the number of guests you can invite - as long as there's enough space for them and the performers. The Artists are Arts Laureate Jacob Rajan and talented young musician Adam Ogle, supported by our stage manager who will ensure that all technical and production elements happen without a hiccup. The performance lasts 80 minutes and as an added bonus, if you wish it, Jacob is happy to chat with your guests after the show.

What does it cost?

The all-inclusive fee for this wonderul and unforgettable experience is only NZ$6,500 including GST.

Cast & Crew

Jacob Rajan

Writer & Performer (and co-composer)

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Jacob Rajan

Company Director, Writer & Performer

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

Jacob 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). In 2013 Jacob was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year’s Honours List.

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.

Adam Ogle

Musician

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Adam Ogle

Musician

Adam Ogle is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. He has worked with Whangarei-based theatre company Company of Giants on The Owl and the Pussycat and the Whangarei Festival of Light and Art, Auckland Theatre Company on Giant Teeth, in the Young and Hungry Festival on Uncle Minotaur and with Smoke Labours Productions on Stutterpop. He has also taught guitar and mandolin at the Whangarei Celtic Summer School ‘Gaidhealtachd’ and taught and performed at the Auckland Folk Festival. He received the ‘Frank Winter Memorial Award’ awarded for his outstanding contribution as a young instrumentalist.

Sam Mence

Production & Tour Manager/LX & SX Operator

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Sam Mence

Sam is the Director of Creative Ambiance Stage Technologies Ltd or CASTL for short. A talented stage technician, he’s worked in Design, Management, Setup and Operation of multiple live performancesincluding Art Installations, Opera, Theatre, Dance, Circus and all manner of Music concerts. Sam’s first production with Indian Ink was The Pickle King in 2017

Justin Lewis

Director

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Justin Lewis

Company Director, Writer & Artistic Director

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, Guru of Chai and Kiss the Fish.  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.

Murray Edmond

Dramaturge

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Murray Edmond

Dramaturg

Murray has been dramaturg on all of Indian Ink’s productions. A poet and founder of Town and Country players (NZ), Murray has recently retired from his role as Professor of Drama at Auckland University where he headed the Drama course.

John Verryt

Set & Costume

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John Verryt

Set & Costume Design

John has worked on all of Indian Ink’s productions to date. With over 30 years experience he is one of New Zealand’s leading performance designers with an extensive portfolio of work including designs for NBR New Zealand Opera, Black Grace Dance Company, Douglas Wright and Auckland Theatre Company.

Helen Todd

Original Lighting Design

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Helen Todd

Helen Todd is an internationally acclaimed New Zealand lighting designer. Helen recently won Best Lighting Design at The Wellington Theatre Awards 2021.

Conrad Wedde

Co-composer

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Conrad Wedde

Conrad Wedde is a self taught composer, who has been composing original music since his teenage years. He has playing in many rock bands and is currently a member of The Phoenix Foundation. Conrad has composed for film, documentary, dance, and multi-media projects.

The short film merci shimeree, tendre shimeree was awarded best original score in the 1999 Divas, his work on the theatre production Shudder was nominated for Sound designer of the Year at the 2000 Chapman Tripp Awards, and the documentary A Tale of Three Chimps won a certificate for creative excellence in the 2000 USA and World Film and Video Awards. Conrad runs WKDS Productions, which encompasses a recording studio and film and video production house in Central Wellington. Conrad composed some of the music as well as performing in Krishnan’s Dairy.

Cathy Knowsley

Lighting Design Development

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Cathy Knowsley

Lighting Designer / Technical Manager

Cathy has over 20 year’s experience in theatre production and touring. She first joined the Indian Ink team in1998 and when not on tour with Indian Ink specialises in event management and health and safety with her company HiViz Event Management.

Inkspiration

  • Justin's notes
  • Jacob's notes

The corner shop, drug store or Seven Eleven is an international phenomenon that contains elements universal to all cultures and also specific to the country or city in which they are found. We call them the ‘dairy’ and they sell all manner of goods from light bulbs to meat pies, chewing gum to stockings and of course milk, bread and ice cream. The ‘dairy’ is a much loved institution; part of our history, open all hours and often owned and run by immigrant families.

In recent years it is also an institution under threat from the supermarkets and 24-hour petrol stations that undercut it in price and convenience. BP Express, Caltex Star Shops, Foodtown, Big Fresh and New World supermarkets are supplanting the corner dairy in many places and small family businesses built up over many years of hard work are fast disappearing. With them goes a uniquely personal approach to free enterprise in our communities.

However something of the pioneering spirit that leads people to move country and start a new business with dreams of a better life for themselves and their children sees the best businesses evolve and develop their own niche markets in specialist goods or services. Krishnan’s Dairy salutes that spirit in whatever corner of the world people have chosen to set up their corner shop.

Being Indian carries with it certain responsibilities. Everyone expects you to be able to cook a curry, spin bowl and have a natural ability at yoga. As an Indian, you have the power to make an Indian restaurant authentic just by walking into it. And if you put three guys in a room with a snake you’d expect the Indian to have some kind of advantage.

Of course we can’t always live up to these responsibilities. I myself have been found wanting on more than one occasion. I have a woefully inadequate knowledge of Indian’s geography, average rainfall and chief exports. Most of my understanding of its religions and politics was gleaned from a project I did in 3rd Form Social Studies.

I guess what I’m saying patient reader, is take everything you see in Krishnan’s Dairy with a pinch of salt (and possibly a generous dollop of garlic and ginger paste). It’s certainly not my intention to recreate an authentic day in the life of an Indian Dairy owner. My allegiance lies with telling a good story and I’ve taken liberties with “my culture” to try and achieve this.

To my countrymen and women who take offence, I apologize. To those of you who crave authenticity – I guess you’ve got the wrong shop. Of course if you leave the show with better understanding of what it is to be an Indian in New Zealand I’m quite prepared to take credit for it; but I’d far rather you left forgetting where you’d parked your car.

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