Celebrated theatre company Indian Ink is undertaking an 11-centre national tour of its new work Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream.
With the company's immediate international travel plans on hold, Kiwis all over Aotearoa can enjoy its latest production in their most ambitious national tour so far that got under way on May 20 and concludes on September 2.
The large-scale New Zealand tour precedes a confirmed North American tour in 2022.
Our lives are but melting icecream and the transition between this world and the next is never easy, but it's made profoundly more difficult when your guide is a vulture.
A man trying desperately to avoid death is flung between limbo and his past where a rebellious young woman from Mumbai's enigmatic Parsi community – a people whose faith is entwined with the vulture - holds the key that may deliver him to paradise.
Selling out its two-week preview season in 2020, Paradise showcases the incredible talents of one of New Zealand's most treasured actors – Jacob Rajan (MNZM) - as he delivers a dazzling solo performance channelling seven characters, while weaving the afterlife and a dash of Bollywood disco into the real-life mystery of India's vanishing vultures.
True to the beloved Indian Ink style, Paradise is rife with mischief, intelligence, exquisite puppetry, inspired sound design and comic originality.
Inspired by Ernest Becker's Pulitzer prize-winning Denial of Death, and the vibrant, life–filled chaos of India's most cosmopolitan city, Indian Ink had the idea for this script after a trip to Mumbai in 2019.
Jacob, Indian Ink co-founder, and writer-director Justin Lewis were inspired by the city, its people and its secrets - in particular, the mystery of India's vanishing vultures.
"The fastest mass extinction of all time and we'd never heard about it. It pricked our curiosity and the more we delved into it, the more wonderfully strange it got.
"We originally started writing about Mumbai, vultures, and immortality but discovered we were actually writing about impermanence.
"It's a word that resonates with the strange times we're living in", says Jacob.
Indian Ink has been lighting up the boards at home and abroad for over two decades and the company is one of our most successful theatrical exports.
This new work has been created by the team behind many of their past hit shows – including Krishnan's Dairy and Guru of Chai.
It was in fact Krishnan's Dairy that first put them on the map and this return to the one-man-show format with Rajan at the helm, will be incredibly satisfying for Indian Ink audiences – both new and old.
"We're lucky to be in one of the few places in the world where live performance is still possible and we can't wait to share this premiere season with you before we take it to the world," says Justin.
Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream plays Hamilton's The Meteor July 7-11, and we have a double pass to give away for opening night.
You can enter by email or mail (address to Indian Ink Competition and include your name, address and daytime phone number — email@example.com or PO Box 1, Te Awamutu). Deadline is 5pm Tuesday.
For more information check indianink.co.nz or themeteor.co.nz