Standing O for play sequel
The sequel to the critically acclaimed Krishnan’s Dairy stage show has been receiving standing ovations from the crowds around New Zealand.
And now the Indian Inkproduced show Mrs Krishnan’s Party is now heading to New Plymouth.
Krishnan’s Dairy was the story of Gobi and Zina Krishnan, who came to New Zealand in search of a better life for themselves and their child. Mrs Krishnan’s Party catches up with the family 20 years down the track, when Mrs Krishnan is now a widow at a crossroads in life wanting to sell the dairy.
Mrs Krishnan’s boarder James foils her plans for an open home however, after inviting 150 people into the back room of the dairy as a special surprise to celebrate the annual Hindu Festival Onam and the return of her son. When strangers turn up and settle in, Mrs Krishnan has no choice but to throw the party of her life.
Mrs Krishnan is played by Kalyani Nagarajan, who says the show explores death, rebirth and community.
Kalyani is a South AsianKiwi who graduated from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School in 2015. She has since been cast in Auckland Theatre Company’s Polo, toured Australia in The Gruffalo, featured in the Auckland Arts Festival hit Tea, and appeared in the third season television’s The Brokenwood Mysteries. Her first collaboration with Indian Ink was last year when she toured the country in the hugely successful revival of The Pickle King.
She tells the Stratford Press playing the role was intimidating at first but then it was also humbling, especially considering the role has been six years in the making. She says it was her ultimate goal to play an Indian matriarch and it was a lot if fun but also “quite hilarious,”. She says she finds people have a lot of respect for the character of Mrs Krishnan.
Kalyani says the show pushes theatre, seating the audience around the dining table, perching them around the kitchen bench and having them engage in the party.
“We don’t like to call it immersive theatre — it’s really like you are engaged in a party.
“We don’t make you fake anything — we are just asking you to do things like you would do at a party.”
She says the show appeals to a range of ages from adults to teenagers and children.
The biggest theme in the show is that of change, around the idea that when change is necessary in life and you aren’t able to to necessarily take the next step, sometimes grieving is needed.
The show is also about the human condition and the search for happiness.
“It’s about the fact that happiness is about accepting your circumstances and being comfortable with that. It’s a great show — we have received standing ovations everywhere we have been.”
■ Mrs Krishnan’s Party is on in New Plymouth from September
6-8 at TSB Showplace.
Kalyani Nagarajan gets into the party spirit in character as Mrs Krishnan.