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Mrs Krishnan's Party: The play that's dinner AND a show

Not many theatre experiences include a feed as well, but Mrs Krishnan's Party really delivers - just in time for Onam.

Mrs Krishnan's Party: The play that's dinner AND a show

Aug 6, 2018 Theatre

Not many theatre experiences include a feed as well, but Mrs Krishnan’s Party really delivers. 

To mark Onam, the annual Indian festival celebrating the rice harvest, celebrated theatre company Indian Ink present an immersive party-within-a-play called Mrs Krishnan’s Party. The show kicks off in Whangarei on August 8 before embarking on a nationwide tour.

Leave your expectations at the door as you become part of a surprise Onam party – but be sure there’ll be loud costumes, masks and playful characters from the two-man cast. Written by Jacob Rajan and Justin Lewis, this is a loose sequel to Mrs Krishnan’s Dairy, written in 1997. Twenty years on, we revisit the widowed Mrs Krishnan in the back room of her shop, where her lodger James has organised a surprise party for his landlady to celebrate Onam. Audience members become the third character in this rapidly paced, comic drama.

Part of the immersive experience is a meal of dhal cooked as the play progresses. Watch the video and check out the recipe below, to have a go at cooking it yourself. A spice-laden, lentil stew like this one is the thing to ward off a winter cold.

Lead actors Kalyani and Justin show how to make dhal:


Simple dhal recipe

(Serves 10)

500g pink lentils

1 litre of boiling water

3 chopped tomatoes or half a tin

2 Tbs of rice bran oil or similar

1 small onion chopped

2 gloves of garlic

1 dried red chilli 

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tsp white pepper


Put lentils, tomatoes and bruised whole cloves of garlic into a large pot of boiling water and simmer till lentils are soft (15-20mins). Stir occasionally to stop the mixture from catching.

5 minutes before lentils are ready, heat oil in a frying pan and add onions and sauté till translucent. Add all the spices except white pepper and salt to the onions and stir for a minute.

Tip the onion spice mixture into the pot of lentils and simmer for five minutes. Add salt and white pepper.

For added deliciousness add a dash of white vinegar and a big knob of butter right at the end and sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander.  

Show dates

WHANGAREI – August 8-11, OneOneSix

HAMILTON – August 15-18, The Meteor

AUCKLAND – August 22-September 2 , Q Theatre

NEW PLYMOUTH – September 6-8, Theatre Royal

WELLINGTON – September 19-29, Te Auaha

CHRISTCHURCH – October 3-7 at Papa Hou, YMCA


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