Water Cooler Conversations: Jacob Rajan - Indian Ink Theatre Company

Water Cooler Conversations: Jacob Rajan

Justin Lewis and Jacob Rajan are holding a vacuum cleanerWe sit down with Co-Writer of Dirty Work Jacob Rajan to get some behind the scenes thoughts on the show.

What inspired you for Dirty Work?

My Mum belongs to 3 choirs. They have these annual recitals for their friends and family and, of course, I’d go along. Knowing how much rehearsal goes into these events and how much enjoyment it gives everyone participating, it got me thinking what a shame it was that they only got to perform once or possibly twice a year.  And that got me thinking about involving community choirs in a theatre show.

How were the songs chosen for the production?

Music, of any kind, lends itself to creating an atmosphere, a feeling in the room. As the play took shape where we chose the choir to sing were moments that supported a change of atmosphere, either enhancing or contrasting the drama in the text. We consulted closely with John Rosser, the Choir Director, about what songs were best suited for choirs and then some trial and error gave us our final play list.

What the unique challenges in writing for a larger cast that don’t know the play?

They need to be involved enough in the drama that they don’t need to “act”. What we’re looking for is their participation not their humiliation. They need to feel excited but safe. The writing needs to take all that into account and that’s a tricky dance.

What excites you about Dirty Work?

I love the bonkers ambition of it. 26 people on stage and only 4 of them know the story. We never usually get to work with that many bodies on stage. The stage picture alone is exciting but taking the unsuspecting choir, the actors and the audience and enveloping them in the drama and connecting it all with song – that’s next level.