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The Guru of Chai

The Guru of Chai

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  • Thu 3 May ’12, 7:30pm
  • Fri 4 May ’12, 7:30pm
  • Sat 5 May ’12, 7:30pm


Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, 38 Durham Street, Tauranga


All Ages

Related Artists:

Indian Ink Theatre Company

Following acclaimed seasons in Virginia, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Nashville, Sydney and most recently Singapore, the charming chai-wallah Kutiser returns to New Zealand as Guru of Chai tours to Tauranga, Taupo, Gisborne and Auckland from May 2011.

Premiering in 2010 Guru of Chai features Jacob Rajan (celebrated actor and writer) and musician David Ward (award winning composer). Co-writer and director Justin Lewis describes the work as blending western theatrical traditions with eastern flavours. Making the most of Jacob Rajan’s unparalleled ability to switch seamlessly between multiple characters, the play cuts quickly between scenes, creating a heightened sense of drama and excitement. The award winning story teller and actor keeps the audience entranced as he becomes 7 sisters, a policeman, a poet, a series of gangsters and a poor chai-wallah in this heartbreakingly beautiful, yet outrageously funny story of love, loss and enlightenment.

The chai-wallah is the storyteller. Kutisar (the chai-wallah) is one of Rajan’s favorite characters: “He’s actually based on a mask-dancer that Justin and I met in Bali. A man steeped in the spirituality of mask-dance, but with a weakness for beer and cock-fighting, and yet desperate to have a Facebook page – he literally danced into our lives, and onto the pages of this play as a fully formed character”.

Guru of Chai has also enchanted international audiences since it’s American 2011 debut in Los Angeles; receiving high praise from audiences calling it “the best show in 10 years” and overwhelming describing it as “Brilliant”, “Clever”, “Entertaining” and “Fun”.

An outrageously funny and romantic thriller, Guru of Chai is infused with the contradictions of modern India where iPhones sit alongside ancient gods – and now New Zealanders can experience it’s magic all over again!

“Magic formula.. clever theatrical touches…sheer brilliance..a joy to behold” - NZ Listener

“Rajan is a masterful storyteller and a gifted comic actor” - Sydney Morning Herald

Indian Ink Theatre Company is New Zealand’s leading theatre company. The company is comfortably in its second decade, with 5 shows in repertoire. The company has been critically acclaimed for its use of live music, heightened theatricality, humour, pathos and great storytelling. ‘The Serious Laugh’ (using laughter to open the audience to serious themes), is central to the company’s approach along with a love of mask and of story. The company has won three Production of the Year Awards, two Edinburgh Fringe First Awards and broken box office records with tours throughout New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Edinburgh.

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