At a train station in India, a young girl begins to sing while a man watches, rapt. He is a tea seller, but no one seems to notice the small stall where he brews chai. He begins to tell a story — an Indian fairytale. The station is crowded, but the stage contains only one performer.
Guru of Chai is the latest work by New Zealand theatre company Indian Ink. Jacob Rajan performs the show solo, adopting 17 different characters and a good deal of shadow puppetry to tell the tale of seven daughters plotted against by their stepmother.
This one's been doing the rounds for a few years now and picking up glowing reviews all along the way. Diving through layers of truth narrative and style, Guru of Chai is pure storytelling and by all accounts a completely transporting experience.
Image: Robert Catto.