Jacob Rajan: Life, Love and Ice Cream all in Paradise

Friday 11 June 2021

Indian Ink's powerful new play 'Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream' opens in Tauranga in the first week of July, we spoke to playwright and actor, Jacob Rajan who channel seven characters in the show, weaving the afterlife and a dash of Bollywood disco into the real-life mystery of India’s vanishing vultures. 

In our chat with Malaysian-born New Zealand Rajan, we find out more about the show and what he looks forward to each time he’s on stage. It’s time to take a wild ride to paradise with the play about impermanence – of life, love… and ice cream.

This glorious production is inspired by Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer prize winning Denial of Death, and the vibrant, life-filled chaos of India’s most cosmopolitan city, Mumbai.

What is Paradise about and what makes it intriguing for audiences to head along and watch?

Jacob Rajan: Paradise is a wild ride between the afterlife and Mumbai on the back of a vulture – a love story, a mystery and a comically profound vision of our fragile world.

How does the love of ice cream come into play with this production?

JR: A kulfi shop is a central location within the play. Kulfi is ice cream’s Indian ancestor and like this play – absolutely delicious. 

What success has this show had in the past? 

JR: The development season sold out in three weeks before opening and the critics raved. It is already booked for US touring in 2022.

What was the decision to put on this show this year, and why bring it to Tauranga?

JR: We developed the show at the height of Covid last year at a point where we were doubtful whether it would even make it to a live audience. With New Zealand one of the few places in the world where theatre is possible we’re grabbing our chance to embark on one of our largest national tours ever. There was no question Tauranga had to be part of it – it’s called the Bay of Plenty for a reason!

Without any spoilers, is there a scene in the show that makes you most excited to see the reaction of the audience and why?

JR: There’s a scene involving a vulture and a Bollywood disco number that will blow your mind. 

What is one thing that you want the audience to be thinking about once they leave the show and are walking back to their cars?

JR: Honestly, I don’t want them to be thinking about ‘one thing’, I want them to forget where they parked. 

Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream 
Baycourt, Tauranga
Fri 2 July - Sun 4 July

Tickets: ticketek.co.nz