Office Politics, Choirs And Unsung Heroes: Indian Ink Premieres Their Biggest Show Ever!

Published: Mon 6 Mar 2023 10:41 AM
Indian Ink Theatre Company Presents
An Ode to Joy
Written by Jacob Rajan & Justin Lewis
Directed by Justin Lewis
Following a highly successful 2022 tour of Krishnan’s Dairy, Indian Ink are back on the boards with a joyful comedy that celebrates an unsung hero and tips the modern office on its head. Featuring over twenty people on stage, the fun-filled production that is Dirty Work tours to Auckland, Nelson, Christchurch, Wellington and Tauranga from 16 June – 20 August.
The computers are down and the big boss in India wants the impossible. A hapless middle manager, his unhelpful assistant and their chorus of office workers are making a mess of things. Which isn’t good news for the cleaner. Workplace hierarchies are shattered, class and culture clash and from the chaos emerges a different way to value one another.
Born out of Indian Ink’s collaboration with choral master John Rosser and leading choir Viva Voce, Dirty Work will connect to local communities by presenting a different choir on stage every night. In a toe-tapping twist the choir members don’t get to read the script ahead of the performance. All they know is that they are cubicle-bound office workers taking direction from ‘the boss’. The chaos that unfolds as the story is revealed is experienced by the choir at the same time as the audience, adding to the unbridled joy and hilarity of Dirty Work.
While the highly physical gags centred around modern office culture keep audiences laughing, it is the power and beauty of people harmonising in song that elevates Dirty Work. Featured music includes contemporary hits from Aotearoa, India and a fresh take on classic tunes.
Indian Ink’s award-winning creative team continues to weave their magic for this premiere season. Under the stellar direction of Justin Lewis, Jacob Rajan will zoom in for a very special guest appearance. Justin Rogers returns following his brilliant performance in Mrs Krishnan’s Party and is joined by rising stars Tessa Rao and Catherine Yates.
As with all great comedies and true to all of Indian Ink’s repertoire Dirty Work offers up some powerful social commentary. Between the laughs, audiences may consider how we value our time, how we value each other, and what really matters.
For people who are interested in the literary influence for Dirty Work, the company has been inspired by the 1942 essay by Albert Camus. Titled The Myth of Sisyphus, it explores the philosophy of the absurd. Camus compares the absurdity of man's life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.
Dirty Work is the eleventh original New Zealand Indian play to be created by Indian Ink co-founders Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis. Now in its twenty sixth year Indian Ink has extensively toured Aotearoa and the world delivering award-winning and highly inventive productions that blend Western theatrical traditions with Eastern flavours. Their work is heralded for its use of live music, humour, pathos and great storytelling.
Don’t miss this world première that finds joy in the eternal toil of work.

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