Stand­ing O for play se­quel

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

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.

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