A bit of help with a party
There was dancing on tables, balloon blowing, bindis and spicy dahl for everybody during Mrs Krishnan’s Party.
The show — at New Plymouth’s TSB Showplace last week — was a total feast for the senses and a bit of an emotional roller coaster too.
The sequel to love story Krishnan’s Dairy, Mrs Krishnan’s Party is set in the back room of the dairy and is an interactive piece of theatre which includes some pretty important themes about community and happiness.
During the show, members of the audience become party goers after being handed scarves, garlands and bindis and are also called in to cut onions, open tins of tomatoes and add spices to the dahl. The interactive nature of the show isn’t overwhelming however, and happens in a natural and unforced way. The set is well planned out to incorporate the audience in an intimate way, with some even seated at a dining room table.
At the centre of the story is matriachal dairy owner Mrs Krishnan — played by Kalyani Nagarajan — and her aspiring DJ boarder James who is played by Justin Rogers. Through the pair’s dialogue, the show delves into the pair’s deepest fears and ultimately illustrates how two people at two very different stages of their lives can both be searching for the same thing — happiness.
James throws a surprise party for Mrs Krishnan to celebrate the Hindu Festival Onam and although she is less than willing to partake in the celebration, slowly loosens up and comes round to the idea.
The party gradually builds itself up and before the crowd knows it, they are blowing up balloons and helping to make a massive pot of dahl.
Throughout the action, the script canvases Mrs Krishnan’s ever changing mindset about what she wants in her future as well as her grief for her husband, disappointment in her son, and agony about her love life. Kalyani plays the role beautifully and is perfect for the role, to which she brings humour, poignancy and some pretty quick wit. The pair weave stories from the audience into the script and it’s hard to believe many parts of the show are improvised.
The party is rounded off with a beautiful display of classical Indian dancing by Kalyani on the dinner table. The show offers a rare feeling of connection between theatre goers as well as depth of meaning about sharing and celebration of community. People of any age would love it.
Aspiring DJ James is played by Justin Rogers in Mrs Krishnan’s Party.