JACOB RAJAN RETURNS TO THE STAGE FOR AN INDIAN INK WORLD PREMIERE
Jacob Rajan returns to the stage in Wellington for the world premiere of Welcome to the Murder House this winter. Commissioned by the prestigious South Coast Repertory Theatre based in Orange County, this deliciously dark tragedy of comic proportions will take Te Auaha by storm, playing 26 May – 10 June.
The dawning of the electric age in 1890’s America brought about massive technological and social change creating winners and losers. A gang of death row convicts are set free for one wild night to tell the tragic story of their hero: the man who invented the electric chair. These convicts give an ironic twist to the true tale of how Thomas Edison and a dentists become entangled in this invention, in the name of progress. Experience a night of naughty fun that will leave you to decide who the real villains are.
Assembling the largest cast and crew in the company’s history, Welcome to the Murder House is a satirical take on the classic superhero story that reveals the consequences of pigeon-holing people into heroes or villains. Based on a true story, the play speaks of a divided world where faith is more powerful than fact and shame drives destructive behaviour. The fictional injection of real Indian scientist Chandra Bose, whose world-leading research into electricity was ahead of its time, gives an Indian Ink twist to the telling. Presented in dynamic vaudevillian style; a variety show performance form popular in 1890s America where this story is set, Welcome to the Murder House features comedy, puppetry, live music, song and dance to entertain and delight whilst recounting a powerful, tragic and moving tale.
The play’s stellar cast includes the return of Indian Ink’s co-founder Jacob Rajan and award-winning musician David Ward who are delighted to be returning to the New Zealand stage for the world premiere. Completing the cast is Quentin Warren, Jacque Drew, and Patrick Carroll who tackle a serious subject with humour and sass and portray 17 characters between them in the company’s biggest ever extravaganza. This bold new direction takes Indian Ink even further into international waters, becoming the first New Zealand company to be commissioned by an American theatre company to create an original work. Tony award-winning South Coast Repertory Theatre commissioned Welcome to the Murder House in 2014, with the Indian Ink writing team heading across the Pacific multiple times to collaborate with the US-based crew for writing and development workshops to bring the work from page to stage.
Indian Ink are expanding in more ways than one, working with an assistant director for the first time. Bala Murali Shingade steps into a leadership position after beginning his career as an intern. Welcome to the Murder House will also be Indian Ink’s first foray into the NZ Institute of Creativity’s purpose-built performance venue, Te Auaha.
2018 will be Indian Ink’s most ambitious year to date, with this celebrated world premiere and a national tour of their new play, Mrs Krishnan’s Party later in the year – stay tuned for more information.
WELCOME TO THE MURDER HOUSE
Te Auaha, NZ Institute of Creativity, Wellington
Saturday 26 May – Sunday 10 June