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Put Your Out-of-office On, Indian Ink Heads To New Centres With Their Biggest Show Ever!

Indian Ink Theatre Company Presents


An Ode to Joy

Written by Jacob Rajan & Justin Lewis

Directed by Justin Lewis

After the resounding success of the 2023 tour, Indian Ink are set to take their joyful comedy hit show Dirty Work to Hamilton, New Plymouth and Whangārei from 16 May. Featuring close to 30 people on stage, the production which received both audience and critical acclaim, tips the modern office on its head and celebrates an unsung hero.

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.

Dirty Work connects with local communities by collaborating with local choirs to create a chorus of office workers. 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 Lorde, Beethoven and AR Rahman.

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Indian Ink’s award-winning creative team continue to weave their magic with Justin Lewis at the helm as Director, and Jacob Rajan zooming in for a very special guest appearance. The stellar 2023 cast of Justin Rogers (Mrs Krishnan’s Party) and rising stars Tessa Rao and Catherine Yates return to bring joy to even more centres in 2024, with music direction by Josh Clark.

"Dirty Work: An Ode to Joy has all the hallmarks of Indian Ink’s best work, and tart and pertinent social commentary is always present in spades." – Theatreview

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 find joy in the endless toil of work.

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. Camus argues that even Sisyphus experiences joy amidst his endless toil – and so can we!

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 seventh 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. 2024 is a testimony to Indian Ink’s ongoing national and international success, also seeing the return of the masterful Guru of Chai in Auckland, Kāpiti and Wellington, and international performances of Mrs Krishnan’s Party in the US and Canada.


Clarence Street Theatre, Hamilton

16 to 18 May

TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

24 to 25 May

Forum North, Whangārei

30 to 31 May

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