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Tasty choices caught in the Traverse’s dramatic net

By: Financial Times, Edinburgh

Tasty choices caught in the Traverse’s dramatic net

Krishnan’s Dairy at the Traverse 2 until September 4, is cute, sentimental, large-spirited, beautifully performed, utterly touching. The cuteness and sentimentality are evident at once: the greater virtues of this show take you unawares.

Jacob Rajan tells the tale of the Indian corner shop that Gobi Krishnan runs with his wife Zina: a tale of his hope for success in a new country and of her homesickness for India, of the thefts and financial straits and racism they endure. Rajan switches from one role to another enchantingly and at first the show seems light. Also at first, a little too winsome.

But Rajan – who has also written Krishnan’s Dairy and who is from New Zealand – then interleaves this domestic saga with the Indian historical legends that Zina keeps telling her baby Apu – he still plays all the roles himself – and meanwhile he subtly deepens the story of Gobi and Zina. In 75 minutes, his two-tiered, small-scale story encompasses death, endurance, the Taj Mahal, cultural values, and love. Meanwhile, he becomes an ever more spellbinding performer, his mastery of voice, body language, and characterisation are his show’s most poetic feature of all.

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