The contradictions of modern India with its iPhones and ancient gods come alive in the outrageously funny and heartbreakingly beautiful Guru of Chai opening at Geelong Performing Arts Centre on July 31.
This award-winning production by New Zealand’s Indian Ink Theatre Company is presented as part of the 2019 Deakin University Theatre Season.
The play is written by the incredibly talented duo of Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis. Rajan is also the star of the show while Lewis is the director.
A poor chai-wallah has his life changed forever when a young girl is abandoned at a busy railway station and brings the place to a standstill with the beauty of her singing. Our Guru (Rajan), is a buck-toothed chameleon, channelling 17 characters and leaping to multiple locations, delivering a serpentine romantic thriller while dispensing dubious spiritual wisdom.
He is by turns charming, loathsome and absurdly profound. Laughter, heartbreak and enlightenment abound – not to mention the killer live soundtrack provided by his mute side-kick, Dave (Adam Ogle). An extremely talented and award-winning multi-instrumentalist Ogle plays the banjo, drum machine, whistles and even a humble plastic bag deftly weaving a vibrant musical score with an atmospheric soundscape.
Scooping Best Play, Best Actor and Best Composer at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards New Zealand, Guru of Chai has gone on to sell out tours around the world. Coast to coast tours across the US have brought audiences to their feet pronouncing it “the best show”.
Geelong Performing Arts Centre CEO Joel McGuinness is excited about bringing this international production to Geelong audiences.
“The show promises to be great entertainment as well as thought-provoking - it’s been praised around the world as nothing short of genius, amazing and mesmerising. We can’t wait for to see for you to see it.”
Guru of Chai is in the Drama Theatre for five performances from July 31 to August 3. Tickets are $58 or less. Book at gpac.org.au or phone the Box Office on 5225 1200.