Indian Ink's 'Kiss the Fish'

You've probably never seen a show like this.

 

For those not accustomed to the beauty of theatre, this comic, cartoon-esque show is a good place to start. Physical theatre has never been so accessible, puppetry and masks never so much a part of a performance's natural flow. Costuming and set-design (by John Verryt) are simplistic, attractive, colourful, and most importantly, versatile.

 

We are introduced to Karukam Island, home to a plethora of fascinating characters, including some seemingly omnipresent monkeys. There is no fourth wall.

 

An ensemble cast of 4 transform into 11 characters. Behind the Balinese comic masks are incredibly talented folk: comedian James Roque is the fumbling Sidu, our dim-witted and kind-hearted protagonist, Nisha Madhan (which most will recognise from Shortland Street fame) offers two completely distinct characters in the form of Daisy and Lakshmi, and the award-winning Julia Croft guides the puppet of Grace, plays a frighteningly accurate depiction of the culturally-selective shrill Jasmine. It was Jacob Rajan's multiplicity of character embodiments which stole my heart - his proper and dismissive Kingsley, downtrodden Bapa, disapproving Father John, disturbing Govind, and failing-magician Fisherman are worth their weight in gold.

 

David Ward's continual presence on-stage, producing all forms of sound was legitimately enthralling - more than a few whispers circulated in amazement that a simple plastic bag produced an ocean's waves. Justin Lewis' direction, and Murray Edmond's dramaturging have produced a consistently aesthetically pleasing occupation of the stage by their actors and rare props, as well as a seriously believable web of relationships and interactions between Karukam's personalities.

 

Whilst I was consistently entertained, my only qualm lies in the wandering storyline of the show's first half. Should the screws be tightened, this would be the infallible show.

 

All said, this is why theatre is magic. Go see.

 

Kiss The Fish

Indian Ink Theatre Company

Q Theatre

9th - 13th June

Touring NZ til 26th July

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